Women continue to face disproportionate barriers to fully contributing to, and benefiting from, economic prosperity and rising living standards. Overcoming those barriers offers an enormous and unique economic, social, and financial opportunity. Strong and growing evidence suggests that identifying effective ways to support women as entrepreneurs, managers, workers, and consumers will increase gender equity, improve firm performance and financial returns, reduce poverty, and promote more inclusive and robust economic growth.
Many development finance institutions (DFIs) are already increasing their focus on gender equity in their investment strategies and internal administration, and supporting new pooled funds, special initiatives, and communities of practice, such as Banking on Women, the 2X Challenge, the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, and the Gender Finance Collaborative. Many of these initiatives are in early stages. With this survey, we seek to contribute to, and strengthen, their efforts by examining how DFIs are investing with a gender lens and where they should go from here.
By surveying DFIs, we aim to start building a baseline of their gender policies and practices, analyze the data, and make recommendations where stronger policies and practices are needed. The survey’s findings give DFIs an important opportunity to learn from one another and work towards standards for how they can best promote gender equity. The survey also enhances transparency and accountability to taxpayers, shareholders, and importantly, women and girls as those impacted by (or excluded from) DFI investments.
Paper by the Centre for Global Development