On the first day of the sixty-third UN Commission on the Status of Women, the Bretton Woods Project has launched a booklet on Gender-Just Macroeconomics: The World Bank’s Privatisation Push. This year’s CSW priority theme is social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
Despite the narrative presented by the World Bank and others that privatising infrastructure and social services, particularly in the form of public-private partnerships, is a means of advancing gender equality in low- and middle-income countries, it can disproportionately harm women and deepen existing gender inequalities.
Governments have a duty to meet social needs through the provision of public goods, including infrastructure and social services, which are vital for supporting gender equality and women’s rights. Privatisation can increase costs and risks of infrastructure and services, and weaken accountability.
This booklet aims to support gender-justice advocates by outlining how privatisation can undermine women’s rights, how the World Bank is shaping the privatisation agenda and how women’s rights groups can hold the Bank to account.
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This booklet has been produced as part of the Gender Equality and Macroeconomics project, a joint project of the Bretton Woods Project and the Gender and Development Network. It is the second in a series about gender-just macroeconomics aimed at supporting women´s rights organisations. For the first booklet in the series, see Gender-just macroeconomics: Engaging the IMF and World Bank.