General Electric has partnered with Ashoka Changemakers to find initiatives across the Middle East and North Africa who are providing more ecomonic opportunities for women. In the Arab world, women only represent a quarter of the workforce and less than 1 in 7 businesses are owned by women.

Here are 3 initiatives in the Middle East that were recognized by General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers for their efforts to improve working conditions for Middle Eastern women:

1. Roudha Center

Roudha Center is a resource center for women looking for information to help them start their own businesses in Qatar. The center offers business, legal, and financial advice for entrepreneurial women, as well as training and programming services. Roudha focuses on young Middle Eastern women who hope to become entreupeners and encouraging them from a younger age.

On their website they are quoted, “In Qatar the arena is still fresh for women entrepreneurs, especially those who do not have existing family business setups to rely on. In general, the struggle to setup and grow a business is harder for women at this stage. Therefore, Roudha Center saw the niche and potential in helping women in Qatar in fostering their passion to open a business.”

2. Women’s Digital League

The Women’s Digital League is an organization in Pakistan that is owned and operated by women. This organization provides digital services to people who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to work away from home. WDL helps set up the infrastructure and also provides assistance with programs such as wordpress and graphic designing so women can improve marketable skills.

3. Glowork

Based in Saudi Arabia, Glowork is an organization that finds jobs for Middle Eastern women. Nearly 1/3 of Saudi women are unemployed while 75% of those women have college educations. Glowork operates by making jobs that were previously harder for women to find or apply to more accessible.

Colleen Eckvahl

Sources: Huffington Post, Women’s Digital League, CSR Wire,
Photo: Patheos