The EBRD and gender equality

The EBRD’s Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020

The EBRD’s Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality 2016-2020 sets out how the Bank will continue to work to prevent gender discrimination, and to promote gender equality within its mandate.

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Our Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality promotes a vision for a future of the countries where the EBRD works in which women and men, regardless of socio-economic status, have the same rights and opportunities to access finance and assets, establish and lead business, participate in decision-making processes affecting their lives and have equal and safe access to public services.

These will be achieved by enhancing the EBRD’s performance through increasing operations and improving delivery, with the aim of mainstreaming gender equality into EBRD operations by 2020 and by contributing to the creation of an enabling environment that can address the constraints which gender inequality places on transition.

The Strategy focusses on three specific objectives:

To increase access to finance and business support for women-led businesses

The EBRD will contribute to closing the gender credit gap by addressing a number of structural problems that women-led businesses find in accessing finance and operating their businesses. This will be done through investments and policy dialogue based on the model developed under the Women in Business (WiB) programmes, which support women-led SMEs to access finance, know-how and advice.

The EBRD will deliver its response to the need for more equal access to finance and support for entrepreneurship via investments and policy dialogue.

To increase access to employment opportunities and skills for women

Economic transition has changed the nature of men’s and women’s participation in the economies of the countries where the EBRD works. Both have generally experienced greater job insecurity, reduction of state employment and the need for new skills and ways of generating income. Women, however, have experienced even higher unemployment rates than men and lower wage levels. Significant differences between men’s and women’s work by sector, occupation and type, (vertical and horizontal gender segregation) have also emerged.

The EBRD will identify opportunities aimed at promoting equal access to employment and skills, through investments, policy dialogue and support.

To improve access to services

Although infrastructure sector projects may at first appear to benefit everyone equally in a community, men and women may have different needs and priorities in terms of how a service should be designed and delivered, especially where these needs relate to their different economic activities and care responsibilities.

Applying a gender perspective to infrastructure projects, such as transport, water, solid waste and/or district heating, can positively benefit both the service providers and their customers who include women and men, as well as girls and boys, and society in general.

In order to be effective in achieving and sustaining gender equality, the EBRD will engage in investments and policy dialogue  with relevant stakeholders at national, regional and municipal level as appropriate and to guarantee equal access to services