How Do IFI Gender Policies Stack Up?
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Gender Action is often asked: Which International Financial Institution (IFI) has the strongest gender policy and/or strategy?
To answer this question, this paper compares and ranks IFI gender policies and/or strategies based on IFIs' published information.
Updated: Gender Toolkit for International Finance Watchers
Gender Action provides a vital and user friendly toolkit
for civil society groups to incorporate gender perspectives
into their work on the IFIs or any other projects. All sections
contain electronic hyperlinks to a vast array of available
gender resources. Just click on an underlined word to be directed
to the specific tool you need!
Herramientas de Género para Observadores Financieros Internacionales disponible en Español.
Assessing the Effectiveness of World Bank Investments: The Gender Dimension
Claire Lauterbach and Elaine Zuckerman
Although it is widely acknowledged that increasing the gender sensitivity of development aid increases its effectiveness, gender issues are usually inadequately addressed in World Bank investments and policy and strategy mechanisms. This is highlighted in a new Gender Action - United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) working paper entitled, "Assessing the Effectiveness of World Bank Investments: The Gender Dimension."
In this paper, Gender Action's Claire Lauterbach and Elaine Zuckerman evaluate the extent to which the World Bank integrates gender concerns in three sectors - 'agriculture and rural development'; 'sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS'; and 'conflict prevention and post-conflict reconstruction' - and in several policy and strategy mechanisms. The paper concludes that the Bank only superficially includes women's concerns in its investments and policy and strategy mechanisms. It provides recommendations for making Bank investments and policy and strategy mechanisms responsive to women's needs and rights.
Gender, IFIs and Food Insecurity Case Study: Malawi
Claire Lauterbach and Isabel Matenje
Women, over 70 percent of Malawi's agricultural workforce, are the backbone of Malawi's agriculture sector and central to Malawi's economy. But according to Gender Action research, IFI-financed agriculture projects in the country address gender issues inconsistently and risk undermining Malawi's food security.
Gender Action's new "Gender, IFIs and Food Insecurity Case Study: Malawi" examines the five World Bank (WB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) investments active in early 2013. We find that though most projects identify gender issues and some have percentage participation targets for women, they frequently lack sex-disaggregated evaluation data and rarely contain project measures that address gender inequalities. Our recommendations include promoting and implementing women's full and equal participation in project design and implementation, in line with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy and National Gender Program, and designing and collecting sex-disaggregated data to measure projects' gender impacts. The success of these projects depends on IFIs addressing women's concerns and ensuring that they benefit from IFI agriculture investments.
Towards Food Security and Resilience in Haitian Agriculture: A Call to Action
Gender Action and the Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG)
Food insecurity, exacerbated by two recent disastrous storms and a long period of drought, threatens the fragile progress achieved in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. It is now is a decisive time for the donor community to refocus its agriculture and food security policies and help the Government of Haiti implement programs that mitigate the impact of natural disasters on Haitian agriculture and meet the food security needs of the nearly 2 million Haitian children, women and families who are going hungry in Haiti today. This call to action, compiled by Gender Action and the Haiti Advocacy Working Group, makes policy and program implementation recommendations to both the international donor community and the Haitian government, to begin the process of rebuilding that vital sector to Haiti's reconstruction and development.
From Ignorance to Inclusion: Gender-Responsive Multilateral Adaptation Investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region
Liane Schalatek (Heinrich Böll Stiftung North America), Sarah Little, Sarah Bibler & Celine Salcedo-La Vina
Gender Action and the Heinrich Böll Foundation's newly released report "From Ignorance to Inclusion: Gender-Responsive Multilateral Adaptation Investments in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region" exposes women's persistent marginalization from climate adaptation projects. Across the MENA region, where women already suffer from social and political exclusion, climate change is expected to further exacerbate existing gender inequalities. Despite this, our report finds that multilateral development investments, like those of the World Bank, have not prioritized gender-sensitivity in adaptation projects.
Based on in-depth gender analysis of all of the active multilateral climate change adaptation-related projects in the MENA region, the report finds that too often these investments view women as passive victims of climate change, ignoring their extensive expertise and agency in adaptation activities. This both compromises women's human rights and undermines the effectiveness of climate smart projects. The report recommends that multilateral investments integrate gender dimensions and promote women's involvement as leaders in climate change adaptation and environmental management. "Ignorance to Inclusion" reinforces Gender Action and the Heinrich Böll Foundation's efforts to promote women's full, consistent and meaningful participation in climate change investments.
Gender, IFIs and Food Insecurity
Case Study: Zambia
Sarah Bibler and Claire Lauterbach
Gender Action's new Gender, IFIs and Food Insecurity Case Study: Zambia, examines the extent to which the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) fulfill their commitment to address gender inequalities and reduce malnutrition - an issue that disproportionately affects Zambian women and children.
Banking on Health:
World Bank and African Development Bank
Spending on Reproductive Health and
HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
Based on fieldwork in Cameroon and Uganda, 'Banking on Health' reviews World Bank and AfDB projects to highlight how good quality matters as much as high quantity in reproductive and sexual health and HIV/AIDS spending.
A database containing comprehensive information about World Bank and AfDB investments (2000-2012) addressing reproductive health and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan African countries accompanies the report.
Haiti's National Housing Policy: Will it Work for Women?
Gender Action's new case study, Haiti's National Housing Policy: Will it Work for Women? demonstrates that the Haitian government's World Bank-supported draft National Housing Policy risks burdening the poor, especially women, with expensive and unobtainable housing by relying on private solutions. The case study concludes with recommendations for strengthening the Policy to ensure that projects are affordable and accessible to all, especially the 1.5 million Haitians that remain displaced, almost three years after the January 2010 earthquake.
This case study is also available in French: La Politique Nationale du Logement: Aidera-t-elle les Haïtiennes?
The World Bank & Gender Based Violence Case Study: the Democratic Republic of Congo
Elizabeth Arend & Julie Ajinkya
Gender-based violence (GBV) has reached epidemic proportions after more than a decade of violent conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In the DRC's mineral-rich eastern region, where militia groups use rape as a weapon to control the lucrative supply of coltan, tungsten, tin ore, tantalum, diamonds and gold. In addition to numerous human rights and development organizations, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)-a global system that uses voluntary global standards to monitor oil, gas and mining sector management-confirmed that GBV is widespread in the DRC's mining regions in 2010. The World Bank & Gender Based Violence Case Study: the Democratic Republic of Congo assesses the extent to which WB extractive industry investments in the DRC address GBV.
IFI's and Gender Based Violence Case Study Haiti
To commemorate International Women's Day 2012, Gender Action prepared this IFIs and Gender Based Violence Case Study that analyzes the extent to which World Bank and IDB shelter, sanitation and electricity investments address GBV in Haiti, as these projects have significant implications for Haiti's GBV epidemic. It also highlights an IDB-funded survey of GBV in Haiti, which took place before the earthquake, but we could not find any post-earthquake follow-up. While Gender Action applauds the World Bank's most recent investment to address GBV, our analysis demonstrates that neither the World Bank nor the IDB adequately address GBV within other critical post-earthquake investments. The case study underscores the urgent need for these institutions to fully implement their gender policies and explicitly address GBV across all sectors.
Gender Impacts of the World Bank-Financed West-African and Chad-Cameroon Pipelines
Based on fieldwork done with Friends of the Earth member groups in Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo and Ghana, Broken Promises reveals that the Chad-Cameroon and West African pipelines, financed by the World Bank, increased women's poverty and dependence on men; caused ecological degradation that destroyed women's livelihoods; discriminated against women in employment and compensation; excluded women in consultation processes; and led to increased prostitution.
Governing Climate Funds:
What Will Work for Women?
Elizabeth Arend & Sonia Lowman
As the international community mobilizes in response to global climate changes, climate change mechanisms must ensure the equitable and effective allocation of funds for the world's most vulnerable populations. Gender Action's new publication, Governing Climate Funds:
What Will Work for Women?, highlights women and girls' disproportionate vulnerability to negative climate change impacts in developing countries, and demonstrates how they have been largely excluded from climate change finance policies and programs. The report examines two climate funds and two non-climate funds in order to learn how gender can be better integrated in global climate finance mechanisms. We show that women and girls must not only be included in adaptive and mitigative activities, but also recognized as agents of change who are essential to the success of climate change interventions.
Gender, IFIs and Food Insecurity: A Primer
"Gender, IFIs, and the Food Insecurity" explores IFI-related causes and gender-specific impacts of recent soaring food prices. Based on demonstrating that IFI-led agriculture, macroeconomic, financial and trade policies in developing countries intensify gender inequalities and disproportionately impoverish women and girls, this primer recommends suggest targeted actions IFIs must take to address the disproportionately negative impact of food insecurity on women and girls.
Haiti Gender Shadow Report: Ensuring Haitian Women's Participation and Leadership in All Stages of National Relief and Reconstruction
As Haiti's devastation deepens nearly one year after its January 12, 2010 earthquake, the need for human rights-based gender interventions remains critical. This final Haiti Gender Shadow Report (GSR), jointly prepared by many women's rights activists in the Haiti Equality Collective, provides the crucial gender content that is missing from the Haitian government's World Bank-led Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), the operative blueprint for recovery that Haiti plans to implement. The GSR demonstrates how a post-disaster strategy that ignores the gendered effects of disaster will inevitably fail to benefit the majority of its population, and that sustainable recovery is not possible without the inclusion of women and women's perspectives.
Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development Investments in post-earthquake Haiti
Elaine Zuckerman, Elise Young and Lisa Vitale
Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development Investments in post-earthquake Haiti demonstrates that the vast majority of World Bank and Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) post-earthquake investments in Haiti approved through mid-October 2010 represent lost opportunities to help Haiti's predominantly poor female farmers, prevent gender-based violence, and support gender-inclusive development efforts.
Critique of the World Bank's Gender Road Map (2011-2013)
Although the World Bank's "Road Map for Gender Mainstreaming" includes a greater reproductive health focus than its parent document, the World Bank's "Gender Action Plan (GAP): 2007-2010," Gender Action's critique reveals that the Road Map repeats many of the GAP's critical failures. The Road Map ignores multiple civil society criticisms through its lack of a human rights framework, its incomprehensive approach to reproductive health and its lack of robust, transparent gender-related data. In addition, the Road Map almost exclusively focuses on economic empowerment as the sole means to achieve gender equality, and does not include a plan to build gender mainstreaming capacity in Bank country offices.
Speaking up for Gender: A Step-by-Step Guide to Holding IFIs Accountable
Diana Arango & Nicole Zarafonetis
Speaking Up for Gender is a user-friendly Guide providing grassroots groups and others affected by IFI projects with information, tips and guidelines for submitting a gender discrimination complaint to an IFI accountability mechanism.
En defensa de la igualdad de género: guía paso a paso para que las IFI rindan cuentas disponible en Español.
the Damage: World Bank Climate Investment Funds Undermine
Climate and Gender Justice
This new paper is a first-look examining how the new World
Bank-administered Climate Investment Funds will impact both
climate and gender justice.
Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Challenges
in Development Aid
Marcia.E.Greenberg and Elaine Zuckerman
Gender Audit and Advocacy: A Toolkit for Chinese Civil Society
Mande Limbu, Elaine Zuckerman and Jingyi Zhang
Action/WLSLAC’s Joint Gender Audit of a Representative
Sample of 50 IFI Investments in China
Gender Action and WLSLAC
Promises: Gender Scorecard of World Bank-managed Post-Tsunami
Reconstruction in Indonesia
Suzanna Dennis and Warisha Yunus
multilateral development banks' spending on reproductive health
and HIV and AIDS
Suzanna Dennis and Elaine Zuckerman
June 2008 Gender & Development Volume 16
Multilateral Development Banks' Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS
Suzanna Dennis and Elaine Zuckerman
Justice: A Citizen's Guide to Gender Accountability at International
Gender Action and the Center for International Environmental
Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The World
Bank Track Record
Elaine Zuckerman and Suzanna Dennis with Marcia E. Greenberg
Space and the Gendered Impacts of International Financial
In the April 2007 Woodrow Wilson International Center for
Scholars Asia Program Special Report No. 136, The
Policy Space Debate: Does a Globalized and Multilateral Economy
Constrain Development Policies? Edited by Bhumika Muchhala
Equality as Smart Economics: A World Bank Group Gender Action
Plan (GAP) (Fiscal years 2007-10): A Critique
to World Bank and IMF Policy-Based Lending
Suzanna Dennis and Elaine Zuckerman
Gender Action, December 2006
This paper is also available in Spanish as follows, thanks
to generous translation work from Choike:
de Género Sobre la Política de Préstamos
del Banco Mundial y el FMI
Suzanna Dennis y Elaine Zuckerman
Diciembre de 2006
Big Oil’s Gender Impacts in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and
A Report by Gender Action and CEE Bankwatch Network, September
Based on research and analysis by Fidanka Bacheva, Manana
Kochladze and Suzanna Dennis
See press coverage on Boom-Time
Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Challenges
in Development Aid
Marcia Greenberg and Elaine Zuckerman, June 2006
Forthcoming chapter in a UNU-WIDER book, Making Peace Work
and a freestanding WIDER discussion paper
Introduction to Gender Budget Initiatives
Presented in 2005 to macroeconomists and other stakeholders
involved in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Process in Bosnia
Also see Elaine Zuckerman’s related presentation on
Macroeconomics in PRSPs
The Gender Dimensions of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: An
Analytical Framework for Policymakers
Elaine Zuckerman and Marcia Greenberg
Published as an article in Gender and Development, An Oxfam
Journal, Volume 12, Number 3, November 2004, Oxford, and as
a chapter in the book, Gender, Peacebuilding, and Reconstruction,
edited by Caroline Sweetman, Oxfam, Great Britain 2005
in Women Internationally
Elaine Zuckerman, 2005. A chapter in 50 Ways to Improve Women's
Lives: The Essential Guide for Achieving Health, Equality,
and Success for All edited and published by the National Council
of Women's Organizations (NCWO). Available for purchase from
NCWO and Amazon.com
and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The World Bank Track Record
Adriana Quinones, Published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation,
Gendered Impacts of World Bank Environment and Infrastructure
Projects in China
Presentation by Elaine Zuckerman at the Third Non-governmental
Organization Forum on International Environmental Cooperation
in China, 2003
Gendered Impacts: the Case of Serbia and Montenegro
Aleksandra Vladisavljevic and Elaine Zuckerman, 2004
the World Bank: Will the Gender Strategy Make a Difference?
A Study with China Case Examples (Updated Version)
Elaine Zuckerman and Wu Qing, Published by the Heinrich Böll
the World Bank: Will the New Gender Strategy Make a Difference?
A Study with China Case Examples
Elaine Zuckerman and Wu Qing, Published by the Heinrich
Böll Foundation, 2003
Gentle Touch? Gender and the World Bank — A Critical
Nasreen Khundker, Prepared for the 2004 Gender Action-Heinrich
Böll Foundation-Bank Information Center Panel Discussion
of "Reforming the World Bank: Will the New Gender Strategy
Make a Difference?"
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers Address Gender Issues? A
Gender Audit of 2002 PRSPs
Elaine Zuckerman and Ashley Garrett
Published by Gender Action, 2003
This paper is also available in French as follows:
cadres stratégiques de lutte contre la pauvreté
(CSLP) tiennent-ils compte de l'inégalité des
sexes? Évaluation des CSLP de 2002 en fonction
du principe de l'inégalité des sexes
Elaine Zuckerman et Ashley Garrett
Une Publication de Gender Action
Primer on Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and Gender
Published by Gender Action, 2002
Engendering PRSPs Reduces Poverty, and the Case of Rwanda
Published by the World Institute for Development Economics
and Research, 2001, Helsinki
Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs): The Issues and
Published by Gender and Development, An Oxfam Journal, Volume
10, Number 3, 2002, Oxford
of Gender Mainstreaming in Advocacy Work on Poverty Reduction
Strategy Papers (PRSPs)
Paper prepared for Oxfam, Great Britain, 2002
Strategy Papers and Gender
Paper prepared for GTZ, Germany, 2002
World Bank and Gender
Gender Action. Chapter in Responsible Reform of the World
Bank by the Coalition for World Bank Reform, 2002