World Bank Gender Thematic Policy Notes Series

15 items available

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This series of thematic policy notes provides an analytical foundation for the World Bank Gender Strategy 2024-2030. 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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Now showing 1 - 10 of 15
  • Publication
    Closing Gender Gaps in Transport
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-12-08) Dominguez Gonzalez, Karla; Kurshitashvili, Nato; Gonzalez Carvajal, Karla; Pickup, Laurie
    Transport services and infrastructure can be enablers or deterrents for women’s empowerment. Transport-related barriers, such as availability, affordability, acceptability, physical access, safety, and security, disproportionally impact women due to existing structural inequalities in terms of time use and household decision-making and task distribution based on gender roles and stereotypes. Lack of safe transport can translate into girls missing schools, women not looking for jobs far away from home, giving up their jobs, or being unable to access health or childcare services. Care responsibilities, less access to cars, and less disposable income all shape women’s transport choices and have the unintended result of them having a lower carbon footprint than men. At the same time, women often use public transport out of necessity, suggesting that primarily women are so-called captive transit users, and highlighting an environmental imperative for promoting gender equality in mobility to support sector decarbonization. This policy note provides a framework for incorporating gender responsive transport and mobility into the World Bank’s Gender Strategy 2024-2030. It offers policy makers several key takeaways based on existing evidence and promising World Bank practices that address gender in mobility.
  • Publication
    Achieving Gender Equality in Education: Examining Progress and Constraints
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-10) Bentaouet Kattan, Raja; Khan, Myra Murad; Merchant, Melissa
    The World Bank is the largest external financier of education worldwide. This note examines trends in girls’ education and spotlights interventions that support girls’ education. Key takeaways include the following: It is simply not enough to get girls into school. Efforts must ensure they stay in school, learn well, and are able to translate their schooling into future gains. Programs that focus on getting girls into school through scholarships, cash transfers, and stipends improve girls’ enrollment outcomes. Interventions that address additional challenges that girls face while in school, such as improving conditions for menstrual health and hygiene and reducing gender-based violence (GBV), make girls feel safe and included in schools. Teaching and learning-focused programs for girls, such as combating stereotypical gender norms in pedagogy, textbooks, and curriculum, help reduce gender-bias in schools and empower them to reach their full potential. It is important to strengthen the role of schools for adolescent girls’ empowerment and for shifting mindsets and norms by engaging girls and boys on issues pertaining to gender equality including on GBV, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), and women’s economic participation.
  • Publication
    Addressing Gender-Based Violence to Accelerate Gender Equality
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-16) Maruo, Mirai; Arango, Diana J.; Grossi, Ariana Maria del Mar; Contreras-Urbina, Manuel
    Gender-based Violence (GBV) is the most egregious manifestation of gender inequality and an alarming global public health, human rights and development challenge. It is most often perpetrated against women and girls. This note reviews available data and evidence on GBV, outlines promising approaches, and presents strategic and operational recommendations. The following key messages serve as a call-to-action to policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and organizations seeking to eradicate GBV: • GBV prevention and response clear the path to reach development goals, including gender equality. • Institutionalizing GBV prevention and response across sectors, supported by adequate financing, can help prevent violence. Investments in technical expertise are essential. • Collaboration and coordination with international and national partners as well as the private sector are critical for inclusive, sustainable, and deeper engagements. Supporting national coordinating bodies can enhance an effective and coherent multi-sectoral approach.
  • Publication
    Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Inclusion and Gender Equality
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-08) Cortez, Clifton; Rana, Trishna R.; Nasir, Rudaba Zehra; Arzinos, John Ioannis
    This note provides an overview of the situation of LGBTI people globally and why addressing discrimination against them and promoting their inclusion make economic sense as well as being the right thing to do. It lays out the authorizing environment for SOGI inclusion at the World Bank and highlights promising practices of SOGI inclusion, including in data generation and operations from the World Bank and public and private sector partners. The note highlights opportunities to advance SOGI inclusion through the three strategic objectives of the World Bank’s Gender Strategy update, namely ending gender-based violence and elevating human capital, expanding and enabling economic opportunities, and engaging women as leaders. The World Bank and development partners can also better integrate SOGI inclusion in their work on gender data generation, evaluation and learning, policy and institutional reforms, and capacity building.
  • Publication
    Addressing Care to Accelerate Equality
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2023-08) Ahmed, Tanima; Devercelli, Amanda; Glinskaya, Elena; Nasir, Rudaba; Rawlings, Laura B.
    The care economy is essential in daily life and a driver of economic growth, human capital development, and employment. Gender is a defining characteristic of the care economy. Women spend 3.2 times more time on unpaid care work than men and constitute the majority of the care workforce. Disproportionate unpaid care responsibilities and a lack of access to quality, accessible, affordable care services impede women’s economic participation and affect their overall well-being. Investments in the care sector are essential to accelerate equality and could generate up to 299 million jobs worldwide by 2035. Globally, the need for care services is high. Worldwide, 43 percent of all children below primary-school-entry age—350 million children—need childcare but do not have access to it. The need for eldercare is also growing as the population continues to age and face chronic health conditions. The World Bank actively supports countries in addressing this care crisis. This thematic policy note reviews many of the issues, evidence, and lessons learned.
  • Publication
    Addressing Social and Gender Norms to Promote Gender Equality
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-07-12) Muñoz Boudet, Ana María; Rahman, Tasmia; Nasr, Nour; Dalton, Abigail
    This thematic note is part of a series being developed to inform the 2024-30 WBG Gender Strategy. It provides a summary of existing evidence in applying a social norms lens to development policy, including guidance on defining, measuring, and changing social norms, with specific guidance for WBG task teams and recommendations for policymakers.
  • Publication
    Leveraging Gender Data to Accelerate Gender Equality
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-07-12) Bonfert, Anna Tabitha; Bunker, Sarah; Tojeiro, Carol Marina; Hovhannisyan, Shoghik
    Gender data are a critical input to achieving gender equality goals. Yet insufficient availability of and funding for gender data impede effective policymaking. Without high-quality gender data, it is impossible to understand gender differences in living conditions, opportunities, productivity, and other elements germane to development. Gender data are also critical to monitoring progress in empowering women and closing gender gaps. This policy note outlines the evolution, challenges, and priorities related to gender data that can inform not only World Bank Group operations but also highlight opportunities for engagement with external stakeholders. It summarizes the World Bank Group’s programmatic experience in improving the availability, quality, processing, dissemination, and use of gender data; and offers recommendations.
  • Publication
    Why Land and Property Rights Matter for Gender Equality
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-07-12) Stanley, Victoria; Lisher, Jennifer
    Securing women’s rights, access to, and control over housing, land, and property (HLP) are important for livelihood generation, food security, a store of wealth, and other economic benefits. Ensuring women’s HLP rights also provides social benefits, such as improved bargaining power within the household and community. Data on women’s rights to HLP is limited, but available evidence from 53 countries shows that within those countries, over 70 percent of women do not own any land. Without action, women are at risk of being left farther behind. This policy note explores the barriers and impediments to women’s HLP rights. It shares emerging evidence on what works to support women in attaining the full range of HLP rights, including experience from World Bank and other donor financed projects and interventions that have shown promise.
  • Publication
    Accelerating Gender Equality Through Reforming Legal Frameworks
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-06-13) Elefante, Marina; Hasan, Tazeen; Hyland, Marie; Mazoni Silva Martins, Natalia; Trumbic, Tea
    This thematic note emphasizes the role of laws and regulations in safeguarding women’s economic opportunities, for the purpose of informing the update of the World Bank Group’s Gender Strategy. The note demonstrates the importance of legal gender equality and draws on data and analysis from the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law initiative and other evidence to explore legal barriers that hinder women’s economic participation and showcase successful reforms. It also offers examples of how World Bank projects have addressed legal frameworks toward gender equality and concludes with proposals for future areas of operational focus and research.
  • Publication
    Increasing Women’s Representation in Business Leadership
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-06-09) Salazar, Loty; Moline, Ann
    Better gender balance in business leadership is inextricably linked with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By definition, attainment of SDG 5, gender equality, is impossible without women’s equal representation at the top. Women leaders are levers of change for all SDGs, as they prioritize social protections, health, education, climate, and inclusivity. Having more women in leadership is positively correlated with higher environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, leading to improved business performance and inclusive economic growth. Yet, enormous gender gaps in corporate leadership persist. Globally, women hold only 19.7 percent of board seats, and 6.7 percent of board chair, 5 percent of CEO, and 15.7 percent of CFO positions. Unconscious and cultural biases, lack of opportunities, and other workforce barriers can limit women’s professional aspirations and narrow leadership paths. While direct cause-and-effect links cannot always be demonstrated, World Bank Group interventions that address the root causes of gender gaps in business leadership offer strong potential for progress. This note examines World Bank Group experience and provides several strategies that other programs can consider to accelerate the pace at which women ascend to senior leadership positions.