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Banking: Gender

House of Lords written question – answered on 6th June 2011.

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Photo of Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead Shadow Spokesperson (International Development)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success of the World Bank's gender mainstreaming policy.

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the contribution of the International Development Association to the United Kingdom's development objectives with regard to gender.

Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma Lords Spokesperson (Home Office) (Equalities and Women's Issues), Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip), Lords Spokesperson (Department for International Development)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has been supporting and reviewing the progress of the World Bank's Gender Action Plan (GAP 2007-10), the aim of which is to mainstream gender into the bank's operations, with a particular focus on women's economic empowerment.

Our assessments have found that progress has been made in mainstreaming work on women's empowerment at the World Bank with, for example, a rise of approximately 20 per cent in the proportion of gender-informed projects, and significant public commitment has been made by President Zoellick with respect to gender equality. However, the multilateral aid review carried out by the Department for International Development (DfID) also highlighted the challenge of translating policy into results, and the need for the bank's performance to improve.

At the last replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA 16) gender was chosen as a cross-cutting theme. Specific gender targets were established to ensure that IDA delivers concrete benefits to girls and women. And the World Bank's next world development report will focus on gender.

At the World Bank spring meetings the Secretary of State sent a clear message to the bank that the report must demonstrate to policy makers and donors how to do things differently and deliver results for girls and women. DfID will follow up with the bank- both through engagement on the MAR and through monitoring the implementation of IDA 16-to ensure the bank delivers these important improvements.

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