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LJD Week 2023 | Advancing Female Entrepreneurship by Addressing Legal Barriers

November 14, 2023
Virtual & In-Person

Please watch the replay here.

Gender discrimination remains a pervasive challenge with deep-rooted implications for economic and social development. While social norms undoubtedly contribute to this issue, it is essential to recognize that legal frameworks can also play a significant role in perpetuating gender disparities by giving legitimacy to discriminatory social norms or creating new ones. Legal reform, therefore, represents a critical avenue for fostering gender equality and enabling the full participation of women in economic activities. By introducing and implementing appropriate rules and institutions, legal reform can serve as a fundamental pillar for sustainable development.

Legal reform, however, is a complex process that demands a deep understanding of a country's economic and social context. Effective engagement with local stakeholders and the private sector is crucial to ensuring the success of such reforms. To advance female entrepreneurship and promote financial inclusion, it is imperative to address the legal barriers that hinder women's access to finance.

This session aims to bring together a distinguished panel of experts to delve into the complexities of advancing female entrepreneurship through legal reform and an enabling legal environment. At the same time, it aims to provide a roadmap for policymakers, legal experts, entrepreneurs, financial institutions, and all stakeholders interested in advancing female entrepreneurship and financial inclusion through legal reform.

  • Ethiopis-Tafara
    Ethiopis Tafara (Opening Remarks)
    Vice President, Chief Risk, Legal & Sustainability Officer and Partnerships, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

    Ethiopis Tafara is Vice President, Chief Risk, Legal & Sustainability Officer and Partnerships for the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). He is responsible for the supervision and oversight of MIGA’s Finance and Risk Management Group, the Economics & Sustainability Group and the Legal Affairs & Claims Group. He also oversees MIGA Partnerships, with an aim to leverage strategic alliances and promote greater investment flows into emerging markets through more extensive risk coverage. Mr. Tafara previously served as Vice President and General Counsel for the International Finance Corporation and Director of the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and has published numerous articles in leading journals. In 2019, Mr. Tafara was appointed as a Public Governor on the Board of Governors for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and was named Financial Times Global GC 25 in 2018.


                        @miga                    @EthiopisTafara

  • Antonia-Kirkland
    Antonia Kirkland
    Global Lead for Legal Equality & Access to Justice, Equality Now

    Antonia Kirkland is currently the Global Lead for Legal Equality & Access to Justice at Equality Now. In this role, Ms. Kirkland provides thought leadership and technical legal support to hold governments accountable under international law to uphold all women’s and girls’ rights. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights and the Coordination Committee of the Global Campaign for Equality in Family Law, and served on the Global Programme Advisory Committee (GPAC) of the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women for 10 years. She has been part of Equality Now for over 15 years and has served in various roles there. Ms. Kirkland has published widely and spoken on the issues of legal/constitutional equality, sex/gender discriminatory laws, sexual violence, and feminist leadership at the United Nations. She has been quoted in The Guardian, Reuters, and The New York Times, in addition to television and radio interviews.



  • Monica-Musonda
    Monica Musonda
    Chief Executive Officer, Java Foods

    Monica Musonda is the Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods, a Zambian based food processing/FMCG company. Since its foundation in 2012, her leadership and vision has grown Java Foods into a leading independent instant noodle manufacturer in the Southern African region. Ms. Musonda is a dual qualified English solicitor and Zambian advocate with over 16 years post qualification experience at various disntiguished postions including working for the Attorney General of Zambia, Clifford Chance (London), Edward Nathan (Johannesburg), the International Finance Corporation (Washington, D.C.) and the Dangote Group. She is the recipient of the 2017 African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year award, the 2021 Leading Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the year Award, and several other awards for entrepreneurship and for her success as a female executive. Ms. Musonda has delivered high-energy keynotes on several key issues including women empowerment, entrepreneurship and how the private sector can support strengthening of African food systems.


                 @monicamusonda                     linkedin

  • Rishi-Goyal
    Rishi Goyal
    Deputy Director & Senior Adviser on Gender, International Monetary Fund

    Rishi Goyal is the Deputy Director and Senior Adviser on Gender in the Strategy Policy and Review Department of the of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mr. Goyal has been working at the IMF since 2002 in various assignments, covering advanced economies such as the euro area, as well as emerging markets such as Brazil, China, Hungary, and Indonesia. Mr. Goyal has also been the Mission Chief for Greece and an Advisor in the European Department of the IMF. During his time at the IMF, he has played a lead role in the organization's work on a banking union for the euro area, financial interconnectedness, the new "spillover reports", reforms of the international monetary system, and strengthening the global financial safety net.



  • Anastasia-Gekis
    Anastasia Gekis (Moderator)
    Director Corporate Strategy and Operations Management, IFC

    Anastasia Gekis heads Corporate Strategy and Operations Management under IFC’s Vice President for Corporate Support. Her responsibilities include ensuring proper positioning of IFC in the development of the World Bank’s Evolution Roadmap, working across Vice Presidenial Units to support implementation of IFC’s strategy and fulfillment of its capital increase commitments, and enabling operational excellence and impact. Previously, Ms. Gekis served as Director of Corporate Operations Management, where she led efforts to improve operational efficiency and productivity and enable staff to deliver on IFC’s strategic priorities. Her previous roles include Manager of IFC’s Operations Management Unit, and Global Administrative Manager in the Manufacturing, Agribusiness & Services Department (MAS) responsible for budget oversight, staffing, HR, Knowledge Management, and IT, as well as Acting Director of MAS during a transition period. Prior to joining IFC, Ms. Gekis had worked for USAID; Greenwich Securities, a derivatives brokerage in London; Idea Global, a London-based think-tank; and for ABN Amro Bank in South Africa.


                        @AnastasiaGekis                    @IFC_org


  • WHEN: November 14, 2023, 8:30-10:00 AM ET
  • WHERE: Preston Auditorium, World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: #LJDWeek2023