Critique of the World Bank's Applying Gender Action Plan Lessons: A Three-Year Road Map for Gender Mainstreaming (2011-2013)

Elizabeth Arend, Gender Action
October 2010

The World Bank's "Applying Gender Action Plan Lessons: A Three Year Road Map for Gender Mainstreaming" (the "Road Map"; 2011-2013) evaluates the Bank's implementation of the Gender Equality as Smart Economics (GAP) Action Plan (2007-2010), and presents a plan for the Bank to strengthen gender mainstreaming in its operations. The Road Map includes significant improvements compared to the GAP, such as an increased focus on maternal mortality and reproductive health, as well as a more comprehensive plan for gender-focused monitoring and evaluation. However, while the Bank claims that gender "coverage" has increased since the GAP was first implemented in 2007, the Road Map still fails to respond to multiple civil society criticisms, including its lack of a human rights framework, its incomprehensive approach to reproductive health and its lack of robust, transparent gender-related data. In addition, the Road Map almost exclusively focuses on economic empowerment as the sole means to achieve gender equality, and does not include a plan to build gender mainstreaming capacity in Bank country offices.

Read the full critique here.

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