World Bank Launches Global Task Force to Tackle Gender-Based Violence

October 13, 2016

WASHINGTON, October 13, 2016—The World Bank today launched a Global Gender-Based Violence  (GGBV) Task Force to strengthen the institution’s response through its projects to issues involving sexual exploitation and abuse.

The new Task Force will be comprised primarily of outside experts on gender-based violence, supported by a small team of specialist World Bank staff. It will build on existing World Bank and other work to tackle violence against women and girls, advising on strengthened approaches to identifying threats and applying lessons in World Bank projects to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse.

The GGBV Task Force was first announced by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim in August and is part of the Bank’s commitment to learn from the failings of the Uganda Transport Sector Development Project, which involved serious allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by contractors.

“We have zero tolerance for gender-based violence,” said Kim. “I have invited the distinguished, well-qualified members of this Task Force to advise me and my management team on specific measures we can take to bolster our work on this issue.”

“The World Bank already invests millions of dollars in development projects aimed at addressing violence against women and girls, across many different sectors, from health and education to infrastructure and public services. This work builds on evidence and lessons learned by various United Nations agencies and many civil society organizations operating at local, national and international levels.

“At the same time, large infrastructure projects – including those supported by the World Bank – which involve a substantial influx of workers into a community, can expose women and girls to risks of sexual exploitation and abuse, unless adequate measures are taken to prevent and address such risks.”

The Task Force will be chaired jointly by Geeta Rao Gupta, former Deputy Executive Director, Programs, UNICEF and former President of the International Center for Research on Women, and Katherine Sierra, former Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank. It will include a range of members from UN agencies, academia, NGOs, foundations, and government, supported by World Bank staff.

The Gender-Based Violence Task Force will be asked to:

·  Develop a set of actionable recommendations for the President and the Bank’s Management on ways to strengthen prevention, design, reporting and supervision interventions in World Bank Group operations, including infrastructure construction such as roads, energy, water and sanitation, slum upgrading and resettlement.

·  Identify effective ways for the World Bank to increase coordination with multiple stakeholders, locally, nationally and internationally, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

The Task Force will have up to nine months to complete its recommendations. Based on these, an action plan will be prepared by World Bank staff to strengthen the institution’s work.


Global Gender-Based Violence Task Force Members



Geeta Rao Gupta, former Deputy Executive Director, Programs, UNICEF

Katherine Sierra, former Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank



Kathleen Cravero, Director of the Oak Foundation

Atul Khare, Under-Secretary General for the United Nations Department of Field Support

Ntenga Moses, Executive Director, Joy for Children

Aisha Nadar, Head, Infrastructure Procurement and Dispute Resolution Advokatfirman Runeland AB

Fatoumata Ndiaye, Deputy Executive Director, Management, UNICEF 

Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Burundi, Anglican Communion

Ewa Werner-Dahlin, Director of Asia, Middle East and Humanitarian Assistance, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) 


World Bank Group:

Hartwig Shaffer, Vice President, Operations Policy and Country Services

Laura Tuck, Vice President, Sustainable Development



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