KATHMANDU, March 27: The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member institution of the World Bank Group, has joined hands with the Nepal Stock Exchange (NEPSE) to organize ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality.’
The annual global event that has been launched in Nepal for the first time highlights how women’s participation in the economy can spur sustainable private sector development. According to the IFC, the event that has come at a critical moment when the economic and social consequences of COVID-19 continue to disproportionately impact women who make up 39 percent of global employment but account for 54 percent of the overall job losses due to the pandemic.
In Nepal, women representation on corporate boards is extremely low, states the IFC referring to its recently conducted study. The country’s power sector shows that out of 132 board members from 20 companies, only 12 (9 percent) are women. Although the Company Act 2006 has made it mandatory to have at least one or more female shareholders, only three out of 10 public companies have women on their boards.
Babacar Sedikh Faye, IFC Resident Representative in Nepal, said there is much more needed to be done to increase the participation of women on corporate boards in Nepal. “Our research with stock exchanges in South Asia has shown that companies with higher gender diversity on their boards experience better financial returns,” he said.
The IFC’s initiative is bringing together more than 100 stock exchanges from around the world in order to foster greater participation of women in the workforce, economy and the capital market to ensure building stronger economic sense for them.