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Gender in the EBRD

Woman working in factory

The EBRD is committed to promoting sustainable and environmentally sound development across its full range of investment and donor-funded activities. Gender equality is considered not only an integral part of sound business management but also significant in the EBRD’s activities to advance sustainable growth in its countries of operations.

To date, 15 projects in a variety of sectors have been identified and have been, or are being, implemented. These include projects delivering, for example:

Other Initiatives

  • Design of a toolkit specifically for companies to identify methods to improve equal opportunities in the workplace was developed for EBRD’s nominee directors and training undertaken.
  • Elaboration of gender profiles for all countries in order to highlight the gender gaps related to employment and entrepreneurship and incorporation of gender equality as a consideration in all country strategies,
  • Identification of gender gaps in relation to employment, pay and access to credit and property rights. These have been informed in part by the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Women’s Economic Opportunity Index for 2012, which was co-financed by the EBRD. Further detailed research has also been carried out to investigate specific issues surrounding financial products targeted at women in our countries of operation.
  • The Small Business Support Team (SBS), through its stand-alone Women in Business programme, has been assisting women entrepreneurs and company owners/managers to improve their career prospects and those of their enterprises, in support of equal access to employment and to finance for women.  

The EBRD’s operational approach to gender

The EBRD’s 2013 gender gap analysis, plus the initial lessons learned identified over three years of GAP implementation, has facilitated the development of a clear framework defining the EBRD’s approach to gender going forward.

Identifying, designing and assessing projects that promote equal opportunities in a specific country require a good understanding of:

  • the areas in which  gender  gaps are greatest;
  • what explains these gaps, i.e. what institutional, economic, social, or political characteristics of the economy they might depend on;
  • the channels through which EBRD projects might be able to influence the conditions affecting gender gaps; and finally,
  • how to find projects that might deliver gender-related systemic impact and measuring that impact.

Experience to date shows that gender considerations have been most effectively incorporated into the Bank’s operations through the Bank’s project focused approach giving due recognition to gender as part of the projects impact assessment. Under the Strategic Gender Initiative the Bank will tackle this challenge along three key “channels” through which projects are most likely to be effective in reducing gender gaps.


Last updated 30 April 2013