NEWS from Gender Action

For Immediate Release: October 12, 2011
Contact: Elaine Zuckerman, President

World Bank-Financed Oil and Gas Pipelines Discriminate Against Women

Women face loss of income-generating activities and deepening poverty

Washington, DC - A new report by Gender Action and Friends of the Earth International finds that World Bank-financed oil and gas pipelines in Africa have deepened women's poverty in surrounding communities, negatively impacted women's physical and environmental health, and exacerbated gender inequalities.

"Broken Promises: Gender Impacts of the World Bank-Financed West-African and Chad-Cameroon Pipelines" documents the negative effects of these projects on surrounding communities through field consultations and World Bank project document analysis. The research, based on field studies conducted by Friends of the Earth International in Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, and Ghana, shows that men were favored in consultation, employment, and compensation schemes over women, resulting in destroyed livelihoods for women and increased dependence on men.

"Time and again evidence shows that World Bank-financed pipeline projects leave women impoverished," said Elaine Zuckerman, President of Gender Action. "Women are mostly excluded from consultation processes and overlooked for project employment opportunities, while simultaneously losing land and access to income-generating activities as a result of pipeline construction. To survive, some women have turned to prostitution."

"This report brings out the plight of women in the context of extractive industries," stated Korinna Horta of Urgewald, praising the report. "Nobody else [except Gender Action] seems to be doing this."

Zuckerman added, "The Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline and West African Gas Pipelines have had devastating impacts on already impoverished African women while enriching multinational companies, who would not undertake the investment risk without World Bank guarantees and financing. These World Bank projects demonstrate the Bank's failure to live up to its stated promises to reduce poverty and promote gender equality. The World Bank should immediately stop investing in dirty extractive industries that harm poor women and men, girls and boys."

About Gender Action

Gender Action is the world's only organization dedicated to promoting gender justice in all International Financial Institution investments, such as those of the IMF, the World Bank and others.

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