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Events
Africa Development Forum Series: 20 in 5
Gender Empowerment: Advancing Our Commitment
March 22, 2016World Bank Main Complex Atrium and Online


The 2012 World Development Report on Gender and Development highlights the growing body of evidence proving the benefit and value of tackling the underlying causes of gender inequality as smart economic and development policy. Addressing gender disparities in conflict-affected environments has further been recognized as a security imperative, critical for building peaceful and inclusive societies.

The World Bank’s Voice and Agency Report (2014) highlights how the violence experienced by women impacts both the lives of the women that experience violence but also the economies of nations. The report underscores how violence against women and girls is one of the most oppressive forms of inequality. Inequality prevents us from achieving our goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

In light of current global challenges and the entrenched norms that continue to perpetuate gender disparities and circumscribe women’s broader civic, economic and political engagement across countries, more can be done.

This half-day event brings together experts to discuss challenges and opportunities related to gender, empowerment, peace and security in Africa with a panel of eminent African leaders, World Bank Group staff, and invited guests, with the aim of exploring how the World Bank Group (WBG) can build on its commitments and increase its engagement on key gender challenges in collaboration with African institutions and development partners.

The first panel, Reclaiming the Future: Overcoming Gender-based Violence and other conflict related challenges, will feature Zainab Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Bineta Diop, African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Linda Etim, Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID, and Anne Richard, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. The second panel, Equal Choices, Equal Chances: Rights, Voice, and Opportunity, will feature Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender, Euphrasie Kouassi, Minister for Women, Family and Protection of Children, Cote d’Ivoire, Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, African Union Commission Director for Gender, and Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.  

Panel I: Reclaiming the Future: Overcoming Gender-Based Violence and Other Conflict-Related Challenges

  • Zainab Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • Bineta Diop, African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security
  • Linda Etim, Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID
  • Anne Richard, US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
 

Panel II: Equal Choices, Equal Chances: Rights, Voice, and Opportunity

  • Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender
  • Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, African Union Commission Director for Gender
  • Euphrasie Kouassi, Minister for Women, Family and Protection of Children, Cote d’Ivoire
  • Melanne Verveer, Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

 

Closing: Makhtar Diop, Vice-President for Africa

Moderator: Steven Shalita, Manager, AFREC

Master of ceremony: Haleh Bridi, Director, AFREC

An exhibition of photographs “Women, the future of Africa” (by Stephan Gladieu), recently shown at an event co-organized by the Africa Region with Le Monde in Paris, will be staged in the Atrium. 

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Zainab Bangura
UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict

Zainab Hawa Bangura was appointed UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict in 2012. Prior to this, she served in the Government of Sierra Leone as Minister of Health and Sanitation, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Before entering Government, she managed the civilian component of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and was actively involved in promoting human and women’s rights and democracy in Sierra Leone as Executive Director of the National Accountability Groups, Chair and Co-founder of the Movement for Progress Party of Sierra Leone, as well as Coordinator and Co-founder of the Campaign for Good Governance.

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Haleh Bridi
Director of Africa External Communications and Partnerships, World Bank

Haleh Bridi is the Director for the Africa External Communications and Partnerships (AFREC) unit in the Africa Region (AFR). She has more than 25 years of development experience working for the World Bank Group, mostly at senior level including serving as country director for Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles (AFR), and director of Regional Programs and Partnerships in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA). Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she spent 10 years at the OPEC Fund where she supported the Fund's lending operations in francophone Africa.

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Bineta Diop
AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security

Bineta Diop took up her position as the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security in 2014. She is the Founder and President of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), and has led numerous peacebuilding programs, as well as election observer missions. She played a central role in involving women in peace negotiations and served as President of the African Union ECOSOCC Gender Cluster. She is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Conflict Prevention of the World Economic Forum, and previously served in the 6th Advisory Group of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue. Together with Mary Robinson, she co-chaired the high-level Civil Society Advisory Group on Resolution 1325. 

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Makhtar Diop
Vice President for Africa, The World Bank

Makhtar Diop is the Vice President for the Africa Region of the World Bank. Before taking up this position he served as Country Director for Brazil, Director of Strategy and Operations, and Sector Director for Finance, Private Sector and Infrastructure in the Latin America and the Caribbean Region, and the World Bank’s Country Director for Kenya, Eritrea, and Somalia. Before joining the World Bank he worked at the International Monetary Fund, served as Minister of Economy and Finance in Senegal, and held various positions in banking and finance.

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Linda Etim
Assistant Administrator for Africa, USAID

Linda Etim is USAID’s Assistant Administrator for Africa, overseeing US development assistance funding for Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to this appointment, she served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for Africa.  Before joining USAID, she served on the National Security Council as the Director for East African Affairs, coordinating U.S. policy civil-military affairs, governance, economic growth, and humanitarian crises. Previously, she served as a specialist in African security affairs for the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community.

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Caren Grown
Senior Director, Gender, The World Bank

Caren Grown is the Senior Director for Gender at the World Bank. Prior to this appointment, she was Economist-In-Residence and co-director of the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University (AU).  She has also served as Senior Gender Advisor and Acting Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at USAID, Senior Scholar and Co-Director of the Gender Equality and Economy Program at The Levy Economics Institute at Bard College, Director of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Governance team at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), and Senior Program Officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.  

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Mahawa Kaba Wheeler
Director of Gender, African Union Commission

Mahawa Kaba Wheeler took office as the Director for Women, Gender and Development Directorate at the African Union Commission in 2015. She has extensive professional experience in development programming and humanitarian relief assistance, with particular emphasis on gender, monitoring and evaluation, food security analysis, and mapping and value chain analysis.  Prior to joining the AUC she worked with leading international organizations, including the UN World Food Program and US government development partners including ACDI/VOCA and DAI in Sub-Saharan Africa and the U.S.  

 

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Anne Richard
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration

Anne C. Richard has served as Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration in the US State Department since 2012. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Richard was the vice president of government relations and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), non-resident Fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University/SAIS and a board member of the Henry L. Stimson Center. She also held positions as Director of the Secretary’s Office of Resources, Plans and Policy at the State Department, deputy chief financial officer of the Peace Corps, Senior Advisor in the Deputy Secretary’s Office of Policy and Resources at the State Department and as a Budget Examiner at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.  As an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations she was part of the team that created the International Crisis Group.

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Steven Shalita
Manager of Communications for Africa External Communications and Partnerships, World Bank

Steven Shalita is the Manager for Communications in the Africa External Communications and Partnership (AFREC) unit, in the Africa Region. He has worked with the World Bank Group for close to 12 years, mostly in the Africa Region. His most recent assignment was with the Climate Investment Funds in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the Bank Steven worked with several development agencies including the German Technical Cooperation and USAID’s Commercial Market Strategies Project.

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Melanne Verveer
Executive Director, Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security

Ambassador Melanne Verveer is the executive director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University, a founding partner of Seneca Point Global, a global women strategy firm, and a co-founder of Seneca Women.  She served as the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, and played a leadership role in the development of the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.  She was the Chair and Co-CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, and during the Clinton administration served as Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady. She led the effort to establish the President’s Interagency Council on Women, and was instrumental in the adoption of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

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Euphrasie Kouassi Yao
Minister for Women, Family and Protection of Children, Cote d’Ivoire and

Euphrasie Kouassi Yao took up her appointment as Minister of Women, Family and Protection of Children in January 2016, before which she was the Coordinator of the Côte d'Ivoire women's skills program.  Prior to this she held several senior positions in the Ministry of Women, Family and Protection of Children, including technical advisor for cooperation in, director of coaching and socio economic activity, and director of equality and promotion of gender.  She also worked as an international consultant on gender and development and monitoring and evaluation with the UN, African Development Bank, and World Bank.

Details
  • Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2016
  • Time: 9 am – 12 noon (ET)
  • Where: World Bank Main Complex Atrium and Online