Gender equality has been touted as a political priority by the Biden administration, as demonstrated through the establishment of the White House Gender Policy Council, as well as its commitment to unveiling a whole-of-government strategy to advance gender equity and equality later this year. Here we make the case for why US immigration policy needs a gender-intentional approach, and how the administration should apply this approach towards policy in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras.
CGD Policy Blogs
Through CGD’s COVID-19 Gender and Development Initiative, the Social Protection Approaches to COVID-19: Expert Advice Helpline (SPACE) and ODI’s research project on social protection response to Covid-19 and beyond, we have each explored the ways in which the crisis has magnified various forms of gender inequality, how social protection efforts aim to address these inequalities, (or in some cases may risk exacerbating them), and propose recommendations to ensure an inclusive recovery, including by harnessing gender-informed social protection.
Today, Melinda French Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make a five year $650 million commitment to furthering economic empowerment for women around the globe - and that the commitment will focus in three areas: cash, care, and data. Sound familiar? That’s because this is the three pronged plan that CGD researchers with our COVID-19 Gender & Development Initiative proposed for how global decision makers can help ensure an inclusive recovery -- one that equitably benefits women and girls.
This coming week at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris, governments and partners across sectors will come together to make concrete commitments to move the needle on gender equity and inclusion. The timing cannot be more vital, especially as the pandemic has unveiled the many systemic inequalities and services that are failing to meet women’s needs, hindering our collective ability to build back better and renew our societies.
The Generation Equality Action Coalitions’ Blueprints identify intersectionality as a core principle, alongside feminist leadership and transformation. But translating this principle into action will require that intersectionality is fully integrated within the advancement of each theme as well as in the definition of the Generation Equality Forum outcomes.
How Can We Hold Commitment Makers Accountable? Reflections Ahead of the Paris Generation Equality Forum
As the Paris convening of the Generation Equality Forum draws near, I revisit the key takeaways of that note and draw out implications for the Forum’s commitment makers, both in the immediate term and in the long run. I propose that a robust accountability mechanism for global gender equality should include the following.
On March 20, President Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey’s withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention, aimed at preventing and combatting violence against women and domestic violence. The first binding treaty on the topic, the Istanbul Convention seeks to promote governments’ accountability in preventing violence and ending legal impunity for perpetrators. Turkey’s announcement was met with immediate criticism; Turkish citizens took to the streets in protest, and world leaders, including US President Joseph Biden, issued public statements opposing the decision.
While the previous US administration sought to elevate some elements of women’s economic empowerment within development policy, a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) suggests there is considerable room for improvement, specifically in USAID’s support to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The Women’s Entrepreneurship and Economic Empowerment (WEEE) Act, signed into law in early 2019, mandates that half of USAID’s investments in MSMEs target women-owned, managed, or controlled business and the very poor. But the GAO uncovered several issues that undermine USAID’s ability to determine how it has fared relative to this ambition.
Government leaders worldwide are trumpeting the need for greater equality in the workplace. That’s the correct thing to do on the grounds of both rights and efficiency, but those leaders might want to start by looking within their own organizations. Today we publish a new policy paper that studies the choices governments have made in their own hiring and compensation decisions.
In March, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) held its first board meeting of the Biden-Harris administration. At that meeting board members voted to approve just one project—a $300 million loan to expand a Brazilian bank’s lending portfolio to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The loan is notably focused on increasing lending to women borrowers, as well as those in underdeveloped regions of the country, making the new administration’s first board-approved DFC investment a 2X Initiative project—a promising starting point.