Tbilisi, 25 May 2011 – The South Caucasus Regional Office of the World Bank today hosted a public consultation on the forthcoming World Development Report 2012 on Gender Equality and Development to be launched in September 2011 at the World Bank Annual Meetings.Georgia and Turkey have been the first two countries in the ECA region to host these consulations.
The World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) provides a wide international readership with an extraordinary window on development economics. Each year, the report focuses on a specific aspect of development. The WDR is produced on an annual basis and is the Bank's major analytical publication.
WDR2012 Deputy Director, Luis Benveniste presented the preliminary results to the audience.
“The WDR 2012 will focus on the evolution of gender equality across the world in the context of the development process. The report will show that although many women around the world still continue to struggle with gender-based disadvantages, much has changed for the better and at a much more rapid pace than ever before. But the report will also show that progress needs to be expanded, protected and deepened”, said Luis Benveniste.
“Gender indicators in the South Caucasus, and particularly in Georgia, show women’s greater access to education and health services, higher life expectancy, as compared to many low – middle income countries with similar economic parameters. However, the challenge is still for the increased participation of women in leadership positions in public office and large scale private businesses”, said Meskerem Mulatu, Country Sector Coordinator, Human Development, South Caucasus Region.
Building on the view of development as a process of expanding freedoms equally for all individuals, the WDR 2012 will consider gender equality as a core development goal in itself. Welfare of individuals should not be determined by the circumstances of their birth, including on whether one is male or female.
Representatives of the government, civil society organizations, opinion leaders from public and private sector as well as academia, took paert in the consultations. The consultation was chaired by the Deputy Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, Rusudan Kervalishvili, Vice-Chairperson of the Parliament of Georgia, Chair of the Gender Equality Parliamentary Council.
“Georgia is trying to address gender-related issues through different legislative initiatives from 2006. The Parliament of Georgia passed the law on overcoming family violence and protecting family violence victims, as well as the law forbidding trafficking in persons, which positively influenced country’s international status. Since April 2010 the law “On Gender Equity” was enacted. This law is major step forward towards improving gender issues at the legislative level. In addition to that gender action plan for years 2011 – 2013 was just recently approved”, said Rusudan Kervalishvili.
The WDR2012 will make the case for equality to be both a core development goal in itself, and a key element for a faster and better development and improve development outcomes and efficiency.