‘Africa’s Economic Dev’t Fails To Translate Into Greater Gender Equality’
By: Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh
Despite the steady economic growth in many African countries, including Ghana, over the last few years, gains have not always translated into greater gender equality or poverty reduction, the World Bank announced today.
To mark International Women s Day, the World Bank’s Africa region launched two evidence-based initiatives to step up its commitment to improve gender programmes in Africa.
First is the Africa Gender Action Plan, a five year blueprint for the bank’s gender informed activities. Next is the Gender Innovation Lab that will bring scientific solutions, through rigorous impact evaluations, that will transform how the World Bank will identify development solutions for some of its poorest clients.
Combined, the World Bank Africa Gender Action Plan and Gender Innovation Lab will link scientific evidence to guide gender-related lending operations in Africa.
In the past decade, African countries have made some considerable strides when it comes to gender equality, says Makhar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa. Today, we have moved from an intuitive understanding of gender programs to add the Gender Innovation Lab that will fill the knowledge gap by providing more qualitative and quantitative evidence than ever about what works and what doesn t in terms of gender equality in sub-Saharan Africa, he said.
On behalf of the World Bank, Diop said the new Gender Innovation Lab will provide development solutions to countries as it works to keep the momentum toward achieving gender equality in Africa.
The World Bank s Africa Gender Action Plan, the institution’s regional strategy for addressing gender inequality, will advance development for both men and women using the latest technological tools that provide evidence on the effectiveness of gender programs through its funding and operations.
The Gender Innovation Lab, the first at the World Bank, brings science to improve delivery of its programs. The Lab already has over 20 impact evaluations under way, and they are providing clear evidence of what works. This week, The Gender Innovation Lab received financial support from the UK s Department for International Development (DFID) in the amount of USD$18 million.
Partnering with DFID and the government of Rwanda, a Lab impact evaluation showed how land title registration resulted in women increasing investments in land, at twice the level as men.
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