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Woman in factory

Supporting economic empowerment of women

Gender equality is key to advancing sustainable growth in our countries of operations.

Gender equality

Gender equality works

Gender equality in the workplace is good for business, and it needn't be difficult to achieve.

We value gender equality as an integral part of EBRD's commitment to promoting sustainable and environmentally sound development across our investment and donor-funded activities. Gender equality is a principal element in the promotion of sound business management and the advancement of sustainable growth in the Bank's countries of operations.

Building on the experience gained under the EBRD's Gender Action Plan 2009, the Bank has recently approved its Strategic Gender Initiative (208KB - PDF)which identifies the specific gender areas where the Bank can best add value given its business model and mandate. The SGI sets out the framework for the Bank’s approach to gender equality within its projects, and comes at a critical time in the development of the Bank’s operations in the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region.

Integrating gender into EBRD's operations

The 2013 Strategic Gender Initiative provides the framework for a more focused approach to the consideration of gender in the EBRD’s operations taking a business approach to tackling the constraints and obstacles that impede the efficient functioning of markets; supporting the provision of services to promising client groups that are not being adequately reached and ensuring that capable entrepreneurs can access financing. 

Under the SGI, and building on our experience under the GAP2009, we will now

  • apply a degree of prioritisation on a sub-set countries, following on from the gender gap analysis undertaken in 2012;
  • provide a targeted product offer focussed on promoting access to skills and employment; access to services and access to finance; and
  • systematically monitor and evaluate our performance.

In addition, the Small Business Support team’s ongoing grant based Women in Business Programme has provided extensive training for women starting their own businesses. Women have held a significant portion of board seats in companies in which the EBRD holds equity stakes; by 2012 around 46 per cent of seats were held by women nominee directors.

Gender in the EBRD

Gender equality is considered key in the EBRD’s activities to advance sustainable growth in its countries of operations.

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Strategic Gender Initiative

A Strategic Gender Initiative was adopted as the result of a coordinated effort between several departments in the EBRD.

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News and events

Latest on the EBRD's Gender related initiatives.

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Gender tools

The EBRD's latest gender tools, for evaluating gender impacts and assisting in the identification of gender issues in its activities. 

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Women in Business Awards

At the Annual Meeting, the EBRD recognises women in business through the annual Women in Business Awards that have been held since 2005.

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External links: Gender resources and reports

A list of select gender resources, including both qualitative reports and quantitative databases and indicators.

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Contact us

Information on how to contact the Gender Team.

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