Competition Launch: Women Powering Work in MENA

General Electric and Ashoka Changemakers launched an online competition today in search of innovative solutions that will advance economic opportunities for women in Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Pakistan. Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality is calling for initiatives that enable women to achieve economic equality, strengthen their families and communities, and benefit equitably from economic growth. 

Three prizes, each totalling US $25,000 in unrestricted funding, will be awarded to the winning entries.

“The Women Powering Work competition extends our efforts in support of economic empowerment of women,” said Nabil Habayeb, President & CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. “GE is committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we live and work, and we recognize that enabling women to participate fully in the economy, and to grow their talents and careers, leads to exponential benefits for societies and development.”

Today, in many MENA countries, more women attend university than men. However, there is a disproportionate number of women that participate in the workforce—half the rate of the global average. An economically equivalent economy allows for and encourages both men and women to excel in their livelihoods. Equal access to quality jobs, skills training, and capital, as well as addressing limitations on mobility and discrimination in the workplace, are potential pathways for achieving economic equality.

The Women Powering Work competition is seeking solutions that address barriers to economic equality, including initiatives that help end gender discrimination, increase access to capital and technology, or enable gender-responsive advocacy for women’s rights. The deadline for entering is November 6, 2013.

“Partnering with GE to launch Women Powering Work is a milestone for Ashoka Changemakers,” said Ashoka Arab World Director, Iman Bibars. “We envision this competition activating a vast network of social innovators that are working to help women to achieve equal access to economic opportunities.”

Participants in the online competition have the opportunity to engage with the Changemakers community, which includes social entrepreneurs from around the world, impact partners, sector experts, and potential investors. Additional information about entering the competition, plus guidelines and assessment criteria, can be found at

About GE

GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at

About Ashoka Changemakers

Ashoka Changemakers is a community of action that connects social entrepreneurs around the globe to share ideas, inspire, and mentor each other. Through its online collaborative competitions and open-source process, is one of the world’s most robust spaces for launching, discussing, and funding ideas to solve the world’s most pressing social problems. Changemakers builds on Ashoka's three-decade history and belief that we all have the ability to be a Changemaker. For more information, visit

Featured Image: "Bedouin girl in Petra, Jordan" - Fulvio's photos via Compfight cc




Tue, 03/11/2014 - 08:55

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Thats a great effort from the side of General Electric and Ashoka Change makers. Women empowerment is so essential in MENA countries. There they are suppressed by the government so awfully, that its so hard for them to come into public. Kudos.

Tue, 09/24/2013 - 17:58

i just need to clarify about specific point regarding competition, i have to come up with idea for women economic equality especially for women or general innovative idea... thanks for support

Fri, 08/23/2013 - 07:00

how can i enterinto competition?

Lauren Parnell Marino profile img
Thu, 09/12/2013 - 14:08

Hi Shaheen! Go to and click on the yellow "Enter an Idea" button in the upper right-hand corner. Let us know if you have any other questions!