International Development Law Organization

Egypt and Jordan: Women entrepreneurs’ access to justice

30 May 2017

While women entrepreneurs in Egypt and Jordan contribute greatly to the economic development of their countries, they face a range of legal, social and economic challenges as compared to men in setting up and running their businesses and resolving disputes. Lack of awareness among women entrepreneurs about their legal rights can prevent them from accessing legal avenues to help settle their claims, and lack of gender sensitivity among justice actors in the implementation of business and economic laws might lead to unintended biased decisions that adversely affect women-owned businesses. Building awareness of potential barriers, and measures to overcome them, can greatly facilitate women entrepreneurs to access justice and create a gender-responsive commercial environment.

IDLO is implementing a project in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) that aims to help create an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs in Egypt and Jordan. IDLO will conduct a baseline assessment and field research to identify the different legal, social and economic obstacles preventing women entrepreneurs from resolving business-related disputes. The research will review existing justice sector mechanisms and relevant legislation, along with a gender analysis of the judiciary. Building on the results of the assessment, IDLO will organize a series of national workshops in Egypt and Jordan to discuss the research findings and engage in policy dialogue with local governments and stakeholders to identify where support can be provided in creating an enabling environment for women entrepreneurs.