Gender Action: IFI’s Fail to Adequately Address Gender Based Violence in Post-Quake Investments
To mark International Women’s Day, HRRW is highlighting recent research concerning issues relating to women’s rights in Haiti.
[N]either the World Bank nor the IDB adequately address GBV within other critical post-earthquake investments. Sadly, this lack of attention to GBV is hardly surprising: according to Interaction, an alliance of international non-governmental organizations, “the humanitarian community continues to see women’s protection as a second-tier concern in crises, particularly natural disasters, and is slow to address GBV at the onset of an emergency” (Interaction, 2010). This case study underscores the urgent need for the World Bank and IDB to strengthen their own gender policies and explicitly address GBV across all sectors.
The report does salute the World Bank for a recent grant to combat GBV in Haiti, which was the result of advocacy efforts on the part of Gender Action and other groups.
While the World Bank’s special focus on women, female-headed households and other vulnerable groups is laudable, project indicators do not measure whether these services are actually carried out.
Although the project’s housing repair and reconstruction component includes “training on gender awareness,” the World Bank neither discusses the content of this training, nor the methods used to measure the training’s impact.
In the IDB’s project to rehabilitate and expand the electricity system of Port-au-Prince, Gender Action notes that:
Neither the original loan document nor IDB statements on its supplemental funding address the need for electricity in IDP camps, which can reduce women and girls‟ risk of GBV (CHRGJ, 2012). (In fact, the words “women” and “gender” never once appear in the original 35-page loan proposal, nor the 26 page post-earthquake grant proposal).
Similarly, the IDB’s “Support to the Shelter Sector Response Plan,” fails to “acknowledge or address the relationship between inadequate shelter and vulnerable populations’ increased risk of GBV.” The report adds:
Although the project paper states that construction site “layouts will include special measures to prevent violence,” it does not describe these measures, nor does it target violence aimed at women and girls.
Gender Action does point to an IDB loan from 2005 as “a positive example of how IFI investments can successfully acknowledge and address gender issues.” However the project received additional funding after the earthquake and “the IDB has not published any information on whether the project’s original goals and objectives were achieved prior to the infusion of additional post-earthquake grant funding in 2010.”