Celebration of the International Women's Day

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Barcelona, 8th March 2019. Women's entrepreneurship in the Mediterranean is an increasingly significant reality, having a positive impact across the region. Indeed, according to the Women Equity index, companies managed by women would perform better. The promotion of women entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean is a necessity in order to create attractive, dynamic and innovative economies. This year, International Women's Day, under the slogan "#BalanceforBetter", calls for a redesign of society through gender balance in order to enable everyone to have access to a better world. This strong and resolutely modern slogan is intended to be shared by all in order to bring change.

Since its creation, ASCAME has always supported the need and importance of the role of women in the Mediterranean economy. One of ASCAME's objectives is to promote Mediterranean women entrepreneurs in the private sector so that it can benefit from their extraordinary potential. This has resulted in the establishment of a Working Commission on “Women Entrepreneurs”; the Mediterranean Women Entrepreneurs Forum, which is celebrating its 10th edition as an international platform for interaction, exchange of experiences and implementation of economic initiatives by women entrepreneurs in the region to highlight new market opportunities; and the inclusion of the subject of women in all its sectoral forums and summits. 
In addition, ASCAME has been actively collaborating with AFAEMME for several years, as well as with other recognized entities, on various initiatives to promote the role of women in the regional economic environment. This is reflected in the promotion of the financing and training of women entrepreneurs, the positive communication of women entrepreneurs and the establishment of a specific programme for the inclusion of Mediterranean women entrepreneurs.
Today, women's participation in the labour market averages 21.5% for the southern Mediterranean countries, while it reaches 65.3% in Europe. These significant disparities highlight the ambitious objectives set and the work that remains to be done for a more just and equal society. For women entrepreneurs, the MENA region has 13% of women-owned businesses, while in Europe and Asia, the rate is 24%. It is important to commend the significant efforts made to integrate women in the Mediterranean region, which will continue to accelerate in order to achieve the objectives of an egalitarian Mediterranean society.
The digital economy sector can be a key sector for a significant change in women's employment and entrepreneurship. Indeed, during the 10th Mediterranean Women Entrepreneurs Forum, it was demonstrated that this innovative sector allows women to create their own business and deploy their knowledge and skills in order to be pioneers in this ever-changing market, as many success stories have shown.
The support of Mediterranean women entrepreneurs is essential in order to achieve the objectives of sustainable development and integration of the region. It is essential that the Mediterranean builds and claims its society based on equal opportunities and gender equality, but also that women entrepreneurs are the channels for a new socio-economic era for the Mediterranean.

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