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OP 4.20 - Gender and Development

These policies were prepared for use by World Bank staff and are not necessarily a complete treatment of the subject.
OP 4.20
March, 2003

This Operational Policy statement was revised in March 2012 to take into account the provisions of OP/ BP 9.00, issued in February 2012; and previously revised in August 2004 to ensure consistency with the requirements of OP/BP 8.60, issued in August 2004.

Note: OP and BP 4.20 draw on Integrating Gender into the World Bank's Work: A Strategy for Action, January 2002. They replace the section of OMS 2.20, Project Appraisal, relating to gender as part of the sociological aspects of appraisal (especially paragraph 62), dated January 1988; OP 4.20, The Gender Dimension of Development, dated October 1999; and the Operational Memorandum Clarification of Current Bank Policy on Gender and Development, December 11, 2001.

Questions may be addressed to the Director, Gender and Development (PRMGE).


Revised March 2012

1. The objective of the Bank's1 gender and development policy is to assist member countries to reduce poverty and enhance economic growth, human well-being, and development effectiveness by addressing the gender disparities and inequalities that are barriers to development, and by assisting member countries in formulating and implementing their gender and development goals.

2. To this end, the Bank periodically assesses the gender dimensions of development within and across sectors in the countries in which it has an active assistance program. This gender assessment2 informs the Bank's policy dialogue with the member country.

3. The Bank's Country Assistance Strategy (CAS)3 draws on and discusses the findings of the gender assessment.

4. In sectors and thematic areas where the CAS has identified the need for gender-responsive interventions, the Bank's assistance to the country incorporates measures designed to address this need. Projects in these sectors and thematic areas are designed to adequately take into account the gender implications of the project.

5. The Bank regularly monitors the implementation of this policy.


  1. "Bank" includes IBRD and IDA; "loans" includes IDA credits and IDA grants; "project" includes any project or program financed under a Bank loan, IDA credit or IDA grant, but does not include programs financed under development policy loans. Social aspects of programs supported under Bank development policy loans are addressed in OP/BP 8.60, Development Policy Lending. "Project" also includes: any project supported by a Bank guarantee, but does not include loans supported by a Bank policy-based guarantee; or any project financed under a GEF grant of more than US$ 1 million, but does not include GEF projects executed by organizations identified by the GEF Council as eligible to work with the GEF through expanded opportunities for project preparation and implementation (such organizations include, inter alia, regional development banks and UN agencies such as FAO and UNIDO).
  2. Such gender assessments may be stand-alone assessments or may be carried out as part of other Bank economic and sector work, such as poverty assessments (see OP 1.00, Poverty Reduction), country economic memoranda, public expenditure reviews, development policy reviews, poverty and social impact assessments, or institutional analyses. Alternatively, they may be assessments that have been carried out by the country or an organization other than the Bank, if the Bank finds the assessments to be satisfactory.
  3. See BP 2.11, Country Assistance Strategies.


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