- Ritu Sharma (Vice President, US Programs and Policy Advocacy and President, CARE)
- Hana Brixi (Global Director for Gender, World Bank)
- Corina Rodriguez Enriquez (Executive Committee Member at DAWN Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era)
- Liz Lloyd CBE (Chief Impact Officer, British Investment International)
- Memory Kachambwa (Executive Director, FEMNET)
Ritu (Moderator): *Begins by sharing findings from the CARE report via presentation*.
We are going to bang on the drum of sex-disaggregated data. Care work is green work: it should be a low-carbon activity. Care work needs to be formalised. Gender should be part of a lens in corporate decision-making. How do we make sure women benefit from jobs created?
Countries dealing with Covid-19 the best were led by women. Bringing women leaders into decision-making, it will have a positive benefit.
Hana: *Showed Gender Data Portal report*. This year is the 10th anniversary on World Development Report on gender. It’s also the final year of gender strategy, and strategy update. We have also done a ten year retrospective – there has been success in girls’ education, reducing mortality, but there are persistent challenges which have been exacerbated recently. The Bank has invested a lot in data and evidence. We are in a better position to make a case to policy-makers on how to do it and how to make it work. There is clear evidence, and we need to focus on:
- Engaging men and boys.
- Shifting mindsets through social norms. CSOs and local partners play a key role on this front. WB has reached out to CSOs in a number of countries.
- Disaster risk management – women’s participation. Climate action – design in making it effective for women.
Corina: What do we mean by a gender-just green transition? Transition from where to where? We are trying to work in an economic system that believes in economic growth, the wealth will trickle down, led by market forces. Has put profit over people; has pushed us to high levels of poverty and inequality.
We need to frame our thinking from a human-rights perspective. We need transform today’s growth dynamics. On the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in Argentina, they are continuing to extract and devastate nature to bring lithium for the energy transition in the global north. There are poor relations between the north and south, there is a high level of indebtedness in the south, and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are pushing for austerity. We need to challenge the roots of inequalities, and we need to tackle extractivism. Inequality has much to do with marketisation and financialisation. The current austerity paradigm is not compatible. We also need to talk about corporate capture.
The process we are denouncing from civil society is multicolour washing (pink, green, blue). A data portal is not enough, and not gender sensitive. It needs to be gender transformative.
Ritu: We need to question the underpinnings of the way we have organised as a society. The problem that got us here is not the same method that will get us out.
Liz: We’ve done a lot of practical work so that investors can take a methodical approach to focus on the Paris Alignment, Net Zero etc. What might a starting place for ‘good’ look like in investing in employment, entrepreneurship, leadership etc? What kind of support would you want through the lifetime of your investment? This is in a toolkit done with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and European Investment Bank.
Memory: The is an intersection between economic and climate justice. We are looking at ecofeminism, the collective work of feminists. There are a lot of colonial legacies and deep rooted structures that need to be dismantled. On the continent of Africa, when data maps are put out, there are grey areas with no data. These areas have high levels of minerals for batteries. Is it deliberate that there is no data? Knowledge is political as well. 4% of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) population have no access to electricity.
We are not looking at the narrative of loss and damage. The global south is not benefitting much, how can the transition be ‘just’ when we are not using data that helps provide solutions? We are maintaining the extractive nature which is run by the global north. We need to link green jobs to food systems – where there are issues of transfers of knowledge etc. Human beings are not above nature. Our system exploits and oppresses people.
This is also about the way we are defining the work women do and they should be compensated for. As the International Labour Organisation (ILO) says, this work is the most important but invisible. We need to be demanding tax justice, reparations for colonial debt and ongoing emissions and meaningful participation of women in decision making.
Ritu: How are you all embedding the mindset shift from the existing system? Particularly from you, Hana and Liz?
Hana: On shifting mindsets within the World Bank, I find the power of data and evidence is really important. We want to know why gender equality matters. To economists and policy makers, it’s important to know that investing in gender equality delivers development outcomes across a number of areas. Sometimes we have to address constraints that men are having too. We also need stories to shift the mindset of boys and men.
Memory: Credit ratings are defined by companies in the north. We are talking about power – power privilege. No one is going to give power easily. What green jobs will be created in the agriculture sector for women?
Let’s think about ministers of finance who have shrinking fiscal space, who are considering what are the returns of investment. It is important to show that investment in gender pays off, that it brings stability, that it prevents fragility. Equally, we need to be equipped with ‘why’ and ‘how’ to explain the needs for investment. We’re working with ministries of finance on how to integrate gender, education, human capital etc. We are having conversations about increasing expenditure on education, social protection etc
Questions & Answers
Question: On mindset shifts, how do gender just initiatives measure the repercussions on violence against women in just green spaces?
Question: What are you doing on engaging community-based organisations, and how are you investing in them? These organisations can be a critical source of data but can’t due to capacity constraints.
Question (Amy McShane, Bretton Woods Project): For Hana, following Corina’s mention of the growing discussions around austerity and private-first approach, we’re hearing that inside the Bank wants to focus on incentive and profit. I wonder if you can reflect on how the Bank can consider how we can take a human rights approach, given commitment to the Sustainable Developments Goals etcetera, rather than focusing on profit?
Hana: Of course we care about human rights, but with so much going on in the world, we have to prioritise things. We have to justify to those inside the Bank why we need to invest in gender specifically.