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Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development seeks to strengthen the Bank’s response to the goals and commitments of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. In order to achieve this objective, the Policy on Gender Equality integrates a gender perspective that seeks equal conditions and opportunities for women and men to reach their social, economic, political, and cultural potential.

There are four main elements in the Policy:

  • Gender mainstreaming: The Policy seeks to ensure that a gender perspective is applied systematically across development interventions. In order to effectively mainstream gender across the IDB, attention to the goal of gender equality needs to be central to the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of the IDB’s interventions.
  • Direct Investment: While the IDB has made development loans to governments and private sector clients for many years, the Policy on Gender Equality seeks to specifically support borrowing member countries in identifying financial operations whose primary objectives are to address strategic gender issues, such as maternal health or gender based violence.
  • Gender safeguards: This provision introduces gender safeguards to the Bank’s Environmental and Social Safeguards in order to prevent or mitigate adverse impacts on women or men or the risk of exclusion due to gender resulting from the IDB’s actions through its financial operations.
  • Monitoring Indicators:The Policy on Gender Equality sets out specific institutional indicators for ensuring effective implementation of the Policy and the evaluation of its results.

From Policy to Action: Gender Action Plan 2011 -2013 and Gender Policy Implementation Guidelines

In order to translate the policy into action, the IDB prepared the internal, bank-wide Gender Action Plan for Operations 2011-2013 (GAP) that contains specific actions to effectively jumpstart the implementation and monitoring of the policy.

The IDB also counts with the Implementation Guidelines for the Operational Policy on Gender Equality in Development and several technical Notes which seek to facilitate the implementation of the Gender Policy by providing IDB staff with guidance on how to integrate the promotion of gender equality into IDB interventions and corporate results.  They offer criteria and basic tools for systematically assessing the potential contribution of Bank interventions towards gender equality, incorporating specific actions to strengthen this contribution, and monitoring results.

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