Since 1994, the World Bank has recognized the important role that gender equality plays in reducing poverty levels. Studies have demonstrated that improving women’s health, education, and empowerment in the family improves a country’s economic and social development. Integrating social themes such as gender in development projects has also shown to improve project success.  As a result, in 1994 the Bank began instituting policies to address gender issues in its projects.

In 2016, the Bank Group has begun implementing its new Gender Equality Strategy 2016-2023, following consultations with more than 1,000 stakeholders in 22 countries. The new strategy charts an ambitious course by focusing on tangible interventions that reach real-world results, by identifying and implementing operations that narrow opportunity and outcome gaps between males and females. It aims further to address constraints cited in many economies as impediments to closing these gaps: occupational sex segregation, with women and girls often streamed into lower-paying, less secure fields of study and work; lack of safe, affordable transportation; and inadequate investment in and prioritization of care services across the life cycle, from early childhood to old age

Learn More about how the World Bank Group helps to provide full and equal participation of women and men, girls and boys.

Featured IEG Resources

  • Evaluation, March 2021: World Bank Group Gender Strategy Mid-Term Review
  • Approach Paper, Oct 2021: Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: An Evaluation of Bank Group Support
  • Blog, April 2021: Five Ways to Continue Closing Gender Gaps: Lessons from Albania and Rwanda
  • Blog, March 2021: How to Implement a Strategy to Close Gender Gaps?
  • Blog, Dec 2019: Translating the Principles of the Global Compact on Refugees into Concrete Actions


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