Gender is a central issue of development effectiveness. New evidence demonstrates that when women and men are relatively equal, economies tend to grow faster, the poor move more quickly out of poverty, and the well-being of men, women and children is enhanced (Integrating Gender into the World Bank’s Work: A Strategy for Action). The World Bank and other international development agencies have been working to mainstream gender in development policies and programs and to develop capacity of countries, policy makers and program implementers to integrate gender in all work.
The Bank's Work towards Promoting Greater Equality
Since 1970, women’s life expectancy in developing countries has increased by some 15-20 years and the gap between girls’ and boys’ primary school attendance has been reduced dramatically.
But women still trail men in the workplace, at the bank and on the farm:
- Women earn 22 percent less in salaries than their male counterparts.
- Their access to credit is very small. In Africa, for instance, they receive only 1 percent of the total credit going to agriculture.
IDA resources are helping low-income countries pay closer attention to gender issues that hold back development.
Projects tend to have better on-the-ground impacts when gender issues are analyzed at the country and project levels and gender-differentiated needs or impacts are recognized in project and program design.
Low and middle-income countries can achieve faster, more inclusive growth if they identify gender-related barriers to growth and poverty reduction and act to reduce these barriers.
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