IFC and Gender
IFC coordinates its gender efforts through the Gender Cross-Cutting Solution Area with the
World Bank Group. IFC advances the Bank Group's goals of ending poverty and increasing shared prosperity by investing in and advising the private sector. One key development challenge is the inequality of economic opportunities for men and women. By working to eliminate gender barriers in the private sector, IFC enables companies and economies to improve their performance. When men and women alike are allowed to pursue employment, entrepreneurship, and leadership, societies can better realize their growth potential.
In fiscal 2014, women made up 24 percent of all IFC board nominees, compared with 19 percent in fiscal 2013. Out of IFC's 719 active advisory services projects, 201 had a dedicated gender component at the end of June 2014, which is 28 percent of the overall advisory services project portfolio; and IFC's investments in access to finance for women entrepreneurs continued to grow. By June 2014, $830 million had been invested in 25 commercial banks as part of IFC's Banking on Women program and an additional $430 million had been mobilized.
In addition, various recent IFC operations have helped women across the world access financial and extension services and increase their contribution to production value chains. For instance, in the postconflict north of Sri Lanka, IFC-supported programs help some 5,700 women gain access to financial services. In Mongolia, IFC completed gender diagnostics for XacBank and Khan Bank. And in Bangladesh, 2,000 women farmers were trained through the Women in Seed Entrepreneurship initiative.
To highlight the importance of providing quality employment opportunities for women in the private sector, IFC released the Investing in Women's Employment: Good for Business, Good for Development report at the 2013 Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. The report shows how investing in women's employment has enhanced productivity, improved staff retention, and increased access to talent for companies from diverse regions and sectors. It presents specific examples of how initiatives tailored to women-such as training, child care support, health services, and alternative work arrangements—can enhance business performance as well as improve working conditions for both women and men.
MIGA and Gender
MIGA believes that women have a crucial role to play in achieving sound economic growth and poverty reduction. Recognizing that women are often prevented from realizing their economic potential because of gender inequity, MIGA is committed to supporting business activities and projects that create opportunities for women.