World Bank Group Gender Thematic Policy Notes Series

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This series of thematic policy notes provides an analytical foundation for the update to the World Bank Group Gender Strategy (FY24-30). Each note summarizes key thematic issues, evidence on promising solutions, operational good practices, and promising areas for future engagement on promoting gender equality and empowerment.

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    Closing Gender Gaps in Earnings
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-03-27) Sahay, Abhilasha
    Gender gaps in earnings persist across all regions. For every dollar men make, women make 77 cents. Closing this gap can lead to sizeable gains for economies - an estimated 160 trillion dollars in global gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. A multitude of factors contributes to this gap and this note sheds light on some of the key drivers. Effective evidence-backed policy options to close the earnings gap include providing information on work opportunities and returns to employment, training in socio-emotional skills, imparting sector-specific technical skills to address occupational segregation and adopting pay-transparency laws. The World Bank Group actively supports countries to boost women’s access to better, high-quality jobs through development policy lending, advisory and analytical work, and supporting reforms to address constraining contextual factors. This note examines an array of policy options that are effective or show promise in closing gender gaps in earnings and offers some key takeaways.
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    Increasing Access to Technology for Inclusion
    (World Bank, Washington DC, 2023-02) Aranda Jan, Clara ; Qasim, Qursum
    Digital technology has introduced innovative business models and changed how society operates. Through digital technology, access to services can be increased and more people can be reached, particularly those from underserved groups, such as women, people in rural communities and persons with disabilities. Yet, gaps in access to digital technology deepen inequalities and have social costs and economic implications. have lost out on $1 trillion in GDP due to the digital exclusion of women. (Alliance for Affordable Internet, 2021). Grounded in examples extracted from research and World Bank Group operations with client countries and clients in the private sector, this policy note presents interventions that aim to close the gaps in digital inclusion. These examples demonstrate that the public and private sectors have significant roles to play in ensuring digital technology reaches women, aligns with their needs, and strengthens their economic empowerment. This policy note provides impetus for the World Bank Group to continue strengthening its work on the digital inclusion of women and underserved groups.
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    What Works in Supporting Women-led Businesses?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-01) Ubfal, Diego Javier
    The narrative among policymakers about women’s entrepreneurship is slowly shifting from encouraging the creation of a high number of startups to focusing on supporting women who are well positioned to lead growth-oriented enterprises. Innovative women entrepreneurs can be agents of change and provide new solutions to global challenges, yet they face multiple barriers to growing their businesses. This policy brief examines the following four areas of constraints and provides evidence on measures to reduce gender gaps in each: 1. Human capital, including gender gaps in access to skills and networks 2. Factors constraining access to finance 3. Factors constraining technology uptake and market expansion, and 4. Contextual factors, including legal and regulatory constraints, social norms, access to care, and gender-based violence.