Despite the progress made in the last decade, gender inequality prevails globally, especially in low-income countries. COVID-19, economic and humanitarian crises and food insecurity have further exacerbated gender gaps.
Public expenditure has long been recognized as an instrument to support education, health, and labor market participation for men and women. However, there has been little attention paid to the role of the revenue side of the fiscal equation in advancing gender equality goals in low and middle-income countries.
In September 2021, with support of the Government of the United Kingdom, the Global Tax Program launched the Gender Equality and Tax Reform Workstream to explore the gender dimensions of tax policy and reforms. The workstream’s objective is to help low- and middle-income countries improve their capacity to formulate tax policies and tax administration reforms that contribute to the gender equality goals.
The World Bank is uniquely positioned to develop a work program on gender equality and tax reform. We have a global reach with offices in over 130 countries and staff from 170 countries, predominantly in low- and middle-income countries. Our analytic work supports country lending operations and policy dialogue with key officials in Ministries of Finance and Tax/Revenue Departments, as well as local academic institutions and civil society. Staff members and experts of the Global Tax Team at the World Bank combine both strong technical expertise and global knowledge to support in-country teams and clients and share knowledge across countries.
Our work under the Gender Equality and Tax Reform Workstream aims to support authorities with analysis to incorporate gender equality into tax policy and tax and customs reform strategies. The activities compromise both analytical and advisory service activities under three priority areas:
- Develop global public goods to help tax policy practitioners incorporate gender equality objectives into tax incidence analysis while complementing ongoing efforts at the World Bank to build a framework for gendered fiscal incidence analysis in developing countries.
- Strengthen countries’ analytical capacity to make decisions on tax policy reforms with a gender lens.
- Improve countries’ capacity to design and implement tax and customs administration reforms with gender equality goals.