Gender Action and Friends Of the Earth International present our report on the gender impacts of the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline and West African Gas Pipelines (WAGP). These gender-blind World Bank Group and European Investment Bank investments proved enormously profitable to transnational oil and gas companies, but IFI involvement failed to adequately protect vulnerable social groups in affected communities, particularly women. Based on fieldwork done with Friends of the Earth member groups in Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo and Ghana, our gender analyses reveal that the pipelines increased women's poverty and dependence on men; caused ecological degradation that destroyed women's livelihoods; discriminated against women in employment and compensation; excluded women in consultation processes; and led to increased prostitution.
The Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline and WAGP are just two of countless IFI-supported socially-insensitive extractive industries projects. As an antidote to the fanfare surrounding the World Bank's Gender Equality and World Development Report (WDR) this year, it is critical to look at actual ways in which IFI investments impact real women and men - and Gender Action's latest report does just that. Women in developing countries have paid too high a price for the huge disconnect between IFI rhetoric and actions. To live up to their stated promises to reduce poverty and promote gender equality, IFIs must rigorously invest in women's rights - and stop investing in the extractive industries that destroy them.
The report presents background research on the pipelines, fieldwork from Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo and Ghana, and conclusions and recommendations for IFIs.