Chair, The World Bank Inspection Panel
Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner. This figure does not include sexual harassment. Gender-based violence (GBV) has also become a prominent issue in a number of development projects funded by international financial institutions (IFIs). GBV concerns seem to be particularly prominent in infrastructure projects where a temporary influx of often large numbers of male construction workers threatens the security of women and girls and the social fabric of a community. However, serious violations have also been highlighted in environmental projects where only a limited number of workers are involved. GBV has also been recorded in the operations of a wider range of international organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam International and the UN. Internal independent accountability mechanisms of IFIs, which assess complaints of people who allege that they have been harmed by development projects funded by IFIs, have recently dealt with GBV complaints. Several investigations conducted by these mechanisms found serious violations. This seminar will present two prominent cases investigated by the World Bank Inspection Panel. It will present findings of the investigations and discuss approaches IFIs and other agencies could take to mitigate risks of GBV in projects they fund.