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Gender Action 2018 Annual Fundraising Letter
Dear Gender Action Supporters and Would-be Supporters,
Construction project workers sexually assaulting, raping and impregnating teenage girls. Social ostracization forcing the girls to drop out of school. In taxpayer-funded projects.
Gender Action works to end these outrages in projects financed by public International Financial Institutions (IFIs) around the world.
Every year IFI projects also force millions of women and men from their homes, land and farms to make way for mines, oil and gas pipelines, hydropower dams, large-scale plantations, and other “development” projects.
Forced displacement is particularly devastating for women who compose the majority of poor people in developing countries. Their livelihoods are destroyed. Their time available to find paid work is absorbed by increased unpaid household chores which displacement causes, for example, walking further to fetch household water and fuel. Women’s soaring “time poverty” fuels greater gender inequality. This is not what you hear from IFIs such as the World Bank whose official mission is to end poverty.
Gender Action works with local partners to safeguard women’s livelihoods and rights by conducting direct advocacy on IFIs and borrower governments. We also resort to “independent” IFI accountability mechanisms to obtain justice for victims. For example the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) accountability mechanism is now investigating the forced removal of 3,500 Haitian women and men from their farms to build the IDB-financed Haiti Caracol Industrial Park (CIP), a compound of garment factories and related infrastructure. Gender Action’s fieldwork exposing CIP’s displacement of farmers and exploitation of women factory workers triggered this investigation, which is expected to result in fair victim compensation.
Gender Action’s joint pressure with partners pushed the World Bank to create two task forces: One task force already recommended Bank projects require mechanisms to prevent sexual and gender based violence. The other task force is promoting ending sexual minorities’ exclusion from project benefits, which Gender Action analyses exposed. In response, the Bank has hired LGBTI experts to ensure projects become fully gender-inclusive.
It is not just traditional IFIs like the World Bank and IDB that Gender Action is holding accountable. Gender Action is persuading the two newest rapidly-growing IFIs, both based in China -- the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, whose projects are expanding to Africa and Latin America, and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) New Development Bank -- to create and implement mandatory gender policies as a first step toward ensuring their investments benefit and do not harm women and sexual minorities. I just returned from pressing these two IFIs in China, together with civil society partners, to promote gender equal investment benefits.
The world increasingly abounds with many wonderful women’s rights organizations. What distinguishes Gender Action is our role ensuring the powerful public IFIs uphold gender justice.
Gender Action’s important work depends on your support!
Please contribute by mailing a check to Gender Action, 925 H Street NW, Suite 410, Washington DC 20001 or clicking genderaction.org’s “Donate Here” button.
Thanks for your support and Happy Holidays!