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Gender Action 2019 Annual Fundraising Letter

Holidays 2019

Dear Gender Action Supporters and Would-be Supporters,

This year my holiday season letter shares both hopeful and challenging examples of Gender Action’s gender justice advocacy on our globally influential taxpayer-funded development banks:

Gender Action’s five-year campaign pressuring development banks to support LGBTQ rights in their investments is bearing fruit. Responding to persistent Gender Action advocacy both the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Bank have developed safeguards to ensure their investments benefit and do not harm sexual minorities. These banks are also pressuring borrower countries which criminalize LGBTQ people to end this injustice.

Another multi-year Gender Action activity propelled a victory for Haitian women farmers. Gender Action’s fieldwork report showing that an IDB-financed industrial plant, built on rare arable Haitian land heavily farmed by women, caused women’s financial and food insecurity and exposure to gender-based violence to increase. Some parents, no longer able to afford school fees, removed daughters from school. Gender Action’s report provided the displaced households, composing about 4,000 people, data needed to file a grievance with the IDB accountability mechanism designed to receive complaints from people harmed by IDB activities. In a rare victory, the mostly female victims are receiving compensation including land, agricultural equipment, schooling, training, industrial park jobs and/or micro-enterprise funding.

Across the globe in Africa, this year Gender Action, with two partner groups, Senegal-based Lumière Synergie pour le Développement and the WoMin African Alliance, produced a fieldwork report showing the African Development Bank (AfDB)-financed Sendou coal plant’s pollution is causing devastating impacts on women and other community members. Women, who produce more than 80% of crops and fish, are disproportionately affected by handling polluted water and soil in the production, collection, processing and preparation of food stuffs. They have been leading a fight against the coal plant which began operating last year. Our report applied an “ecofeminist” assessment framework to analyse the coal pollution’s social, economic and environmental impacts. We urged development banks to end all fossil-fuel investments which exacerbate our planet’s climate crisis and harm developing country women’s s livelihoods. These women carry primary responsibility, based on the current gender division of labour, of putting food on tables and caring for people and ecosystems.

In India, field research by Gender Action partner PWESCR (Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) revealed that the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) promises to benefit women in their Gujarat rural roads project are not being met. The project has failed to conduct promised consultations with women; hire women who are better trained than men for equal jobs at equal pay with men; and provide separate gendered bathrooms and housing to prevent sexual and gender-based violence. Based on these findings, we are pressuring the AIIB and Gujarat government to meet their gender promises.

Also this year Gender Action co-led a global call on the World Bank to mark its 75th anniversary by ending fossil fuel investments. Gender Action delivered a letter to World Bank President David Malpass signed by 110 citizen organizations demanding that the Bank stop fossil-fuel financing that undermines the climate change battle to ensure our world’s survival. During 2014-18, the World Bank financed 88 fossil fuel projects in 38 countries, breaching its promise to end coal investments in 2013 and upstream oil and gas financing this year. Our letter demands that the World Bank replace carbon-emitting with carbon neutral-investments necessary to stabilize the global climate. We also demanded that World Bank energy projects target the most disadvantaged people in low-income countries where lack of electricity hinders women and girls from accessing education, healthcare and livelihoods.

The world increasingly abounds with many wonderful women’s rights organizations. What distinguishes Gender Action is our role ensuring the powerful public IFIs uphold gender justice.

Gender Action’s important work depends on your support! Please contribute by clicking genderaction.org’s “Donate Here” button or mailing a check to Gender Action, 925 H Street NW, Suite 410, Washington DC 20001.

Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays!

Warm regards,






Elaine Zuckerman

President

 

© 2012 Gender Action, All Rights Reserved

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