NEWS from Gender Action

For Immediate Release: August 26, 2011
Contact: Elaine Zuckerman, Pesident

Women's Organizations Call on Christine Lagarde

Time to bring in IMF reforms to improve the lives of women and girls

Washington, DC - Gender Action, an organization that monitors the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its impacts upon the world's women and girls, leads over forty citizen groups in calling on Christine Lagarde, the new Managing Director of the IMF, to end low-income country debt and austere conditions that IMF loan agreements impose, and to promote expansionary spending to improve rather than harm livelihoods.

The call comes after a tumultuous summer for the IMF which saw its former Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, resign amidst allegations of attempted rape and sexual assault, and the appointment of its first female Managing Director, Christine Lagarde.

"Christine Lagarde ran on the platform of womanhood," said Elaine Zuckerman, President of Gender Action. "Now she has the opportunity to lead the IMF in ushering in reforms to improve the lives of millions of poor women and girls worldwide."

The IMF continues to shackle low income countries with debt and belt-tightening conditions, measures that have been discredited and shown to increase poverty and harm women and girls (Guardian, 22 August 2011).

"Decades of debt and IMF austerity measures have had a devastating impact on education, healthcare and employment," said Nick Dearden, Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign UK. "It is women who suffer most from these measures. It is women who are forced to pay the highest price for their country's unjust debts. Debt and austerity sets back the struggle for womens' rights by years or even decades. That's why women are in the forefront of calls for debt justice across the world."

Zuckerman added, "On the heels of the world's largest financial crash in nearly a century, the IMF, under the leadership of Christine Lagarde, should ensure its loans to countries rectifies rather than deepens inequalities and encourages social expenditures to benefit women and men, girls and boys. We call on Ms. Lagarde to end the cycle of impoverishment that IMF loans create."

About Gender Action

Gender Action is the world's only organization dedicated exclusively 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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