Gender equality and empowerment of women: an expert online session on women in finance was held at the AIFC

On July 1, 2021, Women’s Economic Empowerment Forum commenced as part of the Astana Finance Days.

Promoting gender equality in the financial sector and improving the financial inclusion of women was the central focus of the “Women in Finance” session.

The session brought together local and global experts involved in women’s economic empowerment, representatives of international financial and banking institutions, and professional communities of women entrepreneurs.

The main speakers at the session “Women and Finance” were Ms. Madina AbylkassymovaChair of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Regulation and Development of Financial MarketMrs. Zsuzsanna HargitaiManaging Director for Central Asia, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)Ms. Julie MonacoManaging Director, Global Head Public Sector Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory Division CitiMs. Alina AnikinaChair of the Management Board, Alfa-Bank Kazakhstan. The session was moderated by Ms. Gaukhar NurgalievaSenior Advisor on Government Reform and Policies ConsultingFMA.

The speakers discussed market opportunities for women entrepreneurs and international programs aimed at expanding the economic and financial opportunities of women, as well as the economic prospects associated with increasing the potential of women.

Ms. Madina AbylkassymovaChair of the Agency of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Regulation and Development of Financial Market, opened the session with remarks about the role of women in the financial sector of Kazakhstan and noted that “If you look at today’s structure of corporate sector in Kazakhstan, about 26% of all women working at these companies are top-managers. At the same time, more than 60% of all SMEs are managed by women. The mentioned figures are relatively high compared to other developing economies.”

During the panel session, speakers discussed the importance of providing better access to finance and training aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills and shared information with Forum participants on international open access business education programs for women.

Ms. Zsuzsanna HargitaiManaging Director for Central Asia, EBRD:

“It was a great opportunity for me to discuss the role of women in the global and Kazakhstan economy at the Astana Finance Days. At the EBRD we are helping the country build well governed, resilient, competitive, green but also inclusive economy, which will be sustainable for years to come”.

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