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    The Business Case for Investing in Women’s Employment in Iraq: Company Insight - Ashur International Bank for Investment - Advancing Women in Business Leadership & Management Banking/ Financial Sector, Iraq
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022) International Finance Corporation ; World Bank
    In Iraq, women are generally absent from senior management and leadership positions, with an estimated representation of just 1 percent - even lower than the regional average. Women also account for more than half of the financial sector’s workforce, owing in part to government directives to appoint more females within Iraqi banks. In 2018, with International Finance Corporation (IFC) assistance, the Central Bank of Iraq required that every Iraqi bank’s board of directors should include at least one woman. Many private banks in Iraq are currently developing modern banking practices, with several of them prioritizing gender diversity in leadership positions. This company insight explores the experience of one such Iraqi bank, Ashur International Bank for Investment (Ashur Bank), which has been a pioneer for private banks in recruiting and promoting women to management positions. In Ashur Bank’s experience, these policies have improved the company’s performance, driven economic growth and profitability, and improved innovation. The sample size however is not statistically significant and cannot be used to draw definite conclusions but rather provides anecdotal evidence on the topic of this study.
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    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, September 2011 : Investing for Growth and Jobs
    (Washington, DC, 2011-09) World Bank ; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The report highlights the important links between good governance on a level legal and regulatory playing field, and the ability of investment to stimulate growth. Investment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been strong over the last two decades in comparison with Latin America and Eastern Europe. However, in the oil exporting countries, it has been primarily supported by large and expanding public investments. Oil importers, in contrast, have shown more strength in private investment, which has increased in recent years. A concern with reliance on public investment is that in economies with weak governance there is no evidence that public investment stimulates growth. In contrast, in countries with an adequate level of protection of property rights and legal institutions, public investment is strongly linked to growth. The report also makes a strong case for private investment in services and manufacturing as engines of job creation and income growth in the region.
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    Middle East and North Africa Economic Developments and Prospects, January 2011 : Sustaining the Recovery and Looking Beyond
    (Washington, DC, 2011-01) World Bank ; Ianchovichina, Elena
    The impact of the global financial and economic crisis on the Middle East and North Africa region was relatively mild. Lack of integration and a large public sector helped insulate the region to some extent, but now these and other factors are slowing down the speed of its economic recovery. The report examines the major factors threatening the recovery and those that obstruct long-term growth – especially non-oil export growth, which in net terms contributed little to regional growth during the past decade, with non-oil exports remaining below potential in many countries in the region. The report emphasizes several major areas in need of policy makers’ attention, including restrictive trade policies, particularly those affecting trade in services; governance issues linked to uneven application of rules and regulations; inefficient and inflexible labor markets and scarcity of skills, innovation and technological capabilities.