IMF creates its first global gender strategy to better tackle inequality

The International Monetary Fund has adopted a strategy to better integrate gender policies into its work, as global crises have disproportionately affected women and exacerbated inequalities.

The Washington-based fund will immediately begin implementing the four-pillar strategy, assessing the macroeconomic impact of gender gaps, assessing the gender-differentiated impact of shocks and policies, and providing policy advice on extent,” said Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF. in a statement on Saturday.

“The Executive Board today approved the IMF’s first gender equality strategy aimed at mainstreaming gender into the fund’s core activities—surveillance, capacity development, and lending—in accordance with its mandate. said Ms. Georgieva.

It will take another 132 years for countries to close the gender gap, up from 136 years in 2021, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 released by the World Economic Forum this month.

The Middle East and North Africa had the second largest gender gap in the world, ranking just behind Southeast Asia, with 115 years to close the gender gap.

The coronavirus pandemic, rising inflation, the climate change emergency and large-scale conflict and displacement are holding back progress towards gender parity, according to Saadia Zahidi, chief executive of the World Economic Forum.

The gender strategy “couldn’t have been more timely” as the fund adapts to the changing needs, challenges and priorities of its member countries, Ms Georgieva said.

“Crises, including the pandemic and wars, take a heavy toll on women’s lives and livelihoods, compounding the effect of climate change and increasing global fragility,” she said.

“These developments are exacerbating existing gender gaps and our member countries are increasingly refining their policies to implement gender-sensitive measures.”

The gender strategy is designed to provide IMF staff with access to relevant sex-disaggregated data and put in place a “robust framework to ensure that macro-critical aspects of gender” are mainstreamed into IMF country work. .

It will also improve collaboration with the IMF’s external partners to benefit from knowledge sharing and effectively use gender resources through economies of scale and avoiding duplication of effort.

“Successful implementation of this strategy will help our member countries achieve more inclusive and equitable economic growth and resilience,” Ms. Georgieva said.

“When women are doing well, countries are doing well.”

Ms Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist who has worked for decades in international development, said that reducing gender disparities goes hand in hand with higher economic growth, greater economic stability and resilience, and reduced gender inequalities. income.

“Well-designed macroeconomic, structural and financial policies can foster effective and inclusive outcomes and equitably benefit women, girls and society at large,” she said.

Updated: July 24, 2022, 7:30 a.m.

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