Heads of Multilateral Development Banks and the International Monetary Fund have called on all international development and financial institutions to join the effort to promote gender equality across the world.
In a statement issued on March 8, 2015 marking the 20th Anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and International Women’s Day, the seven MDB/IMF heads said while progress had been made in closing gender gaps especially in the areas of maternal mortality and school enrolment, much still remained to be done.
“Maternal mortality has steadily declined, girls have achieved parity with boys in school enrolment in many countries, and policy-makers in many developing countries have become forceful advocates of the need to promote gender equality – both because of its intrinsic value and as a means to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty,” the statement said.
However, “Violence against women remains endemic, women face continuing challenges as workers and as entrepreneurs, and in many countries women do not have equal voice in household, community, workplace or national decision-making,” it added.
Noting that mounting evidence indicates that organizations with diverse workforces outperform others, the MDB/IMF heads reiterated their commitment to promoting diversity in their organisations as this would allow them to be more effective in promoting inclusive development.
The MDB/IMF heads reaffirmed their commitment to continue to support their member states in implementing the Beijing Platform for Action despite current challenging post-crisis context, which also harbours new opportunities to promote gender equality around the world, including the forthcoming Sustainable Development goals and their commitments to gender equality.
The Statement was signed by Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank; Takehiko Nakao, President of the Asian Development Bank; Suma Chakrabarti, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Werner Hoyel, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank; Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank; Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund; and Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank.