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Public Development Banks (PDBs) – national, regional or multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, national promotional banks, and export credit agencies – gathered today at Generation Equality Forum (GEF), to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and to strengthen their collective contributions to Sustainable Development Goal 5 on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. The PDBs play a particularly critical role in ensuring gender-sensitive Covid-19 response and recovery efforts and will accelerate their work to tackle persistent gender gaps widened by Covid-19. Today commitments will contribute to the progress on gender equality and prevent further backsliding.

Following the first Finance in Common Summit on 12 November 2020 adopting the Paris Development Banks Statement on gender equality and women’s empowerment and signed by 26 PDBs, UN Women and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) launched a new global collaboration platform for the PDBs to share expertise and to mobilize commitments to advance gender equality in January 2021. Since then, the PDBs have worked together to discuss measurements of gender financing and highlight good practices to further enhance gender equality and women’s empowerment, including in climate and biodiversity commitments. The PDBs have each brought their own approaches and characteristics and through their diversity have worked together to launch impactful initiatives and to make targeted commitments.

Launch of the 2XCollaborative Gender-Lens Investing Initiative

More than sixteen participating banks and financial institutions, in partnership with GenderSmart Investing and the Investor Leadership Network of global pension funds, launch today a new industry body for gender lens investing: the 2XCollaborative. The 2XCollaborative will convene and equip capital providers to increase the volume and impact of capital flowing to projects, businesses, asset managers and financial institutions that meaningfully and innovatively support women. 2XCollaborative initiatives, like the 2X Gender and Climate Finance Taskforce, will drive gender-smart investing in thematic areas. In committing to the 2XCollaborative, the members build on the success of the 2XChallenge and its $15 billion commitment to mobilize more capital towards women’s empowerment.

Unlock funding for gender and climate change 

Five financial institutions and members of the 2XChallenge join the Gender and Climate Change Fast Track Initiative, a strategic umbrella commitment to accelerate and scale up gender-responsive climate action in national and regional climate agendas. This initiative will strengthen the focus on joint policy and private sector development and combine partners’ unique experiences with both private and public sectors. 

Improve transparency and accountability for gender equality 

More than twenty banks and financial institutions will leverage the alignment between the OECD/DAC gender marker and 2X Challenge criteria, and between 2X Challenge criteria and Women’s Empowerment Principles to strengthen the transparency and accountability of gender funding. 

Integrate best practices through the women's empowerment principles

Banks will sign the Women’s Empowerment Principles, joining the 5,000 organizations in 141 countries who are already signatories, and promote the adoption of the principles by their investees, suppliers and partners.

Strenghten roadmaps and action plans to meet the goals of the Generation Equality

The International Development Finance Club (IDFC), a Club of 26 national and regional development banks, has developed a roadmap and action plan on gender equality that will establish IDFC as an active platform for promoting and advocating gender equality and women’s empowerment for the next years. Focus will be on better access to economic opportunities, strengthening gender mainstreaming both internally and in members’ operations, and fighting against all forms of gender-based violence. It will thus participate to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and particularly Sustainable Development Goal 5 to empower women and girls. 

At least thirteen banks will participate in the second round of the Center for Global Development’s Gender Equity in Development Finance Survey. In committing to take the survey, PDBs and external stakeholders will gain critical information facilitating collective progress, as the survey assesses PDBs’ internal and external gender equity policies and practices and highlights examples of strong practices as models to emulate.

What's next?

The journey of Generation Equality continues after the Paris Forum. The public development banks will actively continue to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment and revisit progress on their collaborative initiatives at the Finance in Common Summit in Rome, Italy, planned in Autumn 2021.