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Umbrella Facility for Gender Equality

Areas of Work

The UFGE supports work across all four pillars of the WBG’s Gender Strategy – closing first generation gaps in health and education, creating more and better jobs, closing gender gaps in ownership and control over physical and financial assets, and enhancing women’s voice and leadership in sector governance and through prevention and response to gender-based violence.  It does this through:


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Research and Innovation

Country, regional and global research filling key knowledge gaps to advance policy dialogue, and adaptation and testing of innovative approaches in operations that can help countries address the most pervasive underlying determinants of gender inequality. As an example, the Mashreq Gender Facility is a World Bank/IFC collaboration with the private sector, civil society organizations and development partners that was created to support government-led efforts in Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon to enhance women’s economic empowerment and opportunities.

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Impact Evaluations

Promoting evidence-informed design of programs by investing in impact evaluations. Regional Gender Innovation Labs (GILs) in Africa, East Asia & the Pacific, Latin America & the Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, and South Asia undertake inferential research and rigorous impact evaluations to assess the outcomes of development interventions.  Lab researchers work closely with projects implemented by governments, the World Bank, NGOs, and bilateral partners, to test and improve take up of interventions to close gender gaps in employment, earnings, productivity, assets and voice/agency.

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Private Sector Solutions

Developing a strong business case for recruitment, retention and promotion of women in the labor force using analytics, and providing companies practical tools and solutions to take action. Led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), this work aims to tackle employer-supported childcare, occupational sex segregation, wage gaps, lack of safe transport, and upskilling women to take advantage of digital economy opportunities. For example, Powered by Women, is an initiative that helps renewable energy companies build the business case for gender diversity.

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Better Gender Data

Improving quality and access to gender data to enable more evidence-based policy making and programming, and monitoring of progress. This includes definitions of ‘work’ (e.g., self-employment vs. dependent self-employment) in surveys, the collection of detailed data on asset ownership and control, and improving the availability and quality of individual-disaggregated household survey data. For example, the LSMS Plus project supports IDA countries in collecting intra-household, sex-disaggregated household survey data on 1) ownership of and rights to selected physical and financial assets, 2) work and employment, and 3) entrepreneurship – following international best practices in questionnaire design and minimizing the use of proxy respondents while collecting personal information.

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