Bahrain Bourse (BHB), a self-regulated multi-asset marketplace, has participated in the annual United Nations Ring the Bell for Gender Equality initiative in conjunction with the celebration of International Women's Day on Monday, March 13th, 2023. Bahrain Bourse joined 123 international exchanges & clearing houses to honor the occasion with a week of bell-ringing activities in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, the UN Global Compact, and UN Women.
Such initiatives are consistent with Bahrain Bourse's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, as well as reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. The event, which featured a "Ring the Bell" ceremony hosted by Bahrain Bourse, was attended by HE Mrs. Hala Al Ansari, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women, HE Mr. Abdulla bin Adel Fakhro Minister of Industry and Commerce and Minister in Charge of Bahrain Bourse, CEOs of listed companies, along with representatives of Central Bank of Bahrain, prominent executive females in leadership positions from various listed companies, as well as other key stakeholders.
The event is being held for the 9th year globally in a succession, with the theme "DigitAll: Innovation for Gender Equality" for International Women's Day 2023. The theme recognizes and celebrates the contributions of women and girls around the world who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education, as well as leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response in order to ensure a more sustainable future for all.
Shaikh Khalifa bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa, Chief Executive Officer of Bahrain Bourse commented, “As part of our continuous efforts to promote responsible sustainability practices and ESG disclosure within the capital market, Bahrain Bourse is a signatory to the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative, as well as actively celebrating the WFE 'Ring the Bell for Gender Equality' to recognize the advancements made on gender equality within the capital markets. We are honored today to announce our commitment towards the UN Women Empowerment Principles."
On her part, HE Mrs. Hala Al Ansari, Secretary General of Supreme Council for Women said, “Bahrain Bourse's participation in the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event on an annual basis demonstrates its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative and to celebrate International Women's Day that focuses this year on Innovation and Technology to build a more sustainable future for everyone. HE Mrs. Hala Al Ansari assured the importance of implementing more initiatives aimed at enhancing corporate awareness and paving the regulatory environment to enhance women's participation.
During a speech delivered during the event, HE Mrs. Hala Al Ansari said, “The Supreme Council for Women is keen to develop its strategic partnership with Bahrain Bourse in order to support the implementation of policies and initiatives initiated by capital markets to nurture human capital and gender equality across corporates which in return will have a positive impact on performance and competitiveness. HE Mrs. Hala Al Ansari highlighted the recently issued CBB Directives aimed at enhancing the participation levels of women in Boards of listed companies at Bahrain Bourse, represented by the directives of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister which includes implementing gender balance on boards, empowering women and supporting their participation in leadership positions.
During the event, Bahrain Bourse announced its endorsement of the UN Women Empowerment Principles (WEP) alongside 7,000 other global signatories, whom have voluntarily expressed their commitment towards promoting the advancement of gender equality within the workplace and marketplace. The UN WEP initiative focuses on seven core principles which provide corporates with guidelines on delivering gender equality topics in alignment with the UN SDG goals.
In 2019, Bahrain Bourse announced its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative to further promote sustainable and transparent capital markets, as part of its sustainability journey. Bahrain Bourse's endorsement of the UN WEP is aimed to further strengthen its sustainability journey and roadmap on topics related to gender equality.