Gender IFI Summer School

The Gender International Financial Institutions Summer School, organised by the Gender IFI civil society collective, brought together regional and global organisations working to advance economic justice issues, particularly from a feminist perspective, to discuss the IFI’s impact on women’s rights, as well as strategies and tactics to push back.

Click on each session below to access the recording.


Session 1: World Bank & IMF Gender Advocacy: History, Strategy, Tactics

World Bank & IMF Gender Advocacy: History, Strategy, TacticsThis introductory session explored the Bretton Woods Institutions’ historical evolution as influential development actors addressing gender issues. The session explored key features, strengths and weaknesses of BWI gender policies and the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework. The discussion also considered the neoliberal economic paradigm of the BWIs, including how privatisation, debt and austerity hinder achieving gender goals and in fact harms them.

Speakers: Elaine Zuckerman (Gender Action), Amy McShane & Friederike Strub (Bretton Woods Project), Jessica Mandanda (Feminist Macro Alliance Malawi)


Session 2: Engaging Media – Changing the Narrative

Engaging MediaIn a global economic situation full of crises and challenges, the IFIs have surged in power and the neoliberal narrative of austerity without alternative has taken hold in policymakers minds and the public discourse. This session explored strategies and tactics to engage with the media and successfully present a counter-narrative rooted in equality and wellbeing, one that transforms the economic justice and gender discourse into a story that can move the mainstream towards real, better alternatives.

Speakers: Jessica Mandanda (Feminist Macro Alliance Malawi, Gender & Communications Specialist)


Session 3: Austerity, Gender Responsive Public Services & IFIs

This two-days seminar session was aimed at unfolding the multifaceted links between the austerity policies promoted by the International Financial Institutions and their impact on the adequate delivery of gender responsive public services.

Speakers: Wangari Kinoti (ActionAid Intl), Dr. Lyla Latif (Tax Justice Network / University of Warwick), Natalia Rodriguez (ActionAid UK)

Austerity, gender responsive public services & IFIs Part I: Austerity and Gender Responsive Public Service Delivery






Austerity, gender responsive public services & IFIsPart II: The Role of International Financial Institutions on Austerity






Session 4: Accountability, Reprisals & Reparations

Accountability, reprisals and reparationsProjects and policies supported by the IFIs have been connected to loss of livelihoods, rising inequality, environmental degradation and human rights abuses. This session looked at the mechanisms we can employ to hold them accountable for these impacts, and to advocate for remedy and a rights-based approach. It also explored the concept of reparations for (neo-)colonial harms as an emancipatory framework to mobilise against capitalist extraction.

Speakers: Fiana Arbab (Oxfam), Stephanie Amoako (Accountability Counsel), Elena Berger (Bank Information Center), Mark Fodor (Coalition for Rights in Development), Johnstone Shisanya (EACHRights), Anna Shahnazaryan (Armenian Environmental Front), Debbie Stothard (ALTSEAN).


Session 5: Care, Gender Inequality & the IMF

This session introduced feminist approaches to care and the protagonist among them, defining “care” and engagement strategies. It discussed insights from The Care Contradiction: The IMF, Gender, and Austerity, which exposed the devastating impact of IMF-promoted public sector cuts on women in low-income countries, who face a triple threat of losing access to vital services, having fewer opportunities to access decent work, and being forced to take on the rising burden of unpaid care work.

Speakers: Roos Saalbrink (ActionAid), Klelia Guerrero (Latindadd)


Session 6: Political Influencing: National Governments

Political influencing and national governmentsHere we dived into strategies and tactics for influencing governments and national parliaments. The IFIs are governed by representatives of national governments, especially those of rich countries whose outsized influence on the IFI’s boards and top leadership means changing IFI policy often means changing national policy in those countries first.

Speaker: Ute Koczy (urgewald, former member of the German parliament)


Session 7: Advocacy for Feminist Tax Justice

The Global Alliance for Tax Justice is one of the most effective global networks of  organizations advocating for a fairer tax system, and in particular with a focus on gender just taxation. In this session, speakers from the Alliance discussed their experience with global campaigning on tax and gender such as with the #MakeTaxesWorkForWomen global days of action and shared key insights and recommendations on connecting the tax debate with women’s rights.

Speakers: Aurea Mouzinho (GATJ), Sahar Mechmech (Oxfam), Hazel Birungi (IWRAW-AP)


Would you like to learn more about these issues? Are you interested in participating in the next Gender IFI Summer School?

Get in touch:
Friederike Strub, GEM Project Lead