International Financial Institutions

Gendered Assumptions, Institutional Disconnections and Democratic Deficits: The Case of European Union Development Policy Towards Liberia


Debusscher, Petra. 2013. “Gendered Assumptions, Institutional Disconnections and Democratic Deficits: The Case of European Union Development Policy Towards Liberia.” Women’s Studies International Forum 40 (September): 212–21. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2013.08.005.

Author: Petra Debusscher


This article maps an application of gender mainstreaming with the aim of investigating how gender is institutionalised within EU development aid. I consider the case of aid towards Liberia from 2008 to 2013, examining first the extent to which gender was included in policy formulation and implementation. Next, I attempt to explain this by analysing institutional inputs and networks at the EU Delegation in Liberia. Based on text analysis and expert interviews, I argue that gender factors were abolished in the actual implementation, despite relative support from the Delegation leaders, and the availability of training and expertise. The largest stumbling block to effective implementation was institutional weakness, represented by the disconnect between formal and informal institutional rules; gendered assumptions at the EU external services constraining the expression of marginalised perspectives; and a gendered double democratic deficit in the power play over which ideas matter and who accumulates resources.

Topics: Gender, Gender Analysis, Gender Mainstreaming, Humanitarian Assistance, International Financial Institutions Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2013

Sexy Money: The Hetero-Normative Politics of Global Finance


Brassett, James, and Lena Rethel. 2015. “Sexy Money: The Hetero-Normative Politics of Global Finance.” Review of International Studies 41 (3): 429–49.

Authors: James Brassett, Lena Rethel


The article develops a critical analysis of gendered narratives of global finance. The post-subprime crisis equation of unfettered global finance with the excessive masculinity of individual bankers is read in line with a wider gender narrative. We discuss how hetero- normative relations between men and women underpin financial representations through three historical examples: war bond advertising, Hollywood films about bankers, and contemporary aesthetic representations of female politicians who advocate for austerity. A politics emerges whereby gender is used to encompass a/the spectrum between embedded and disembedded finance, approximate to the divide between oikonomia and chrematistics. The apparently desirable ‘marriage’ between the state and finance that ensues carries several ambiguities – precisely along gender lines – that point to a pervasive limit: the myth of embedded liberalism in the imagination of global finance. 

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2015

Gender and Infrastructure in the World Bank


Ferguson, Lucy, and Sophie Harman. 2015. “Gender and Infrastructure in the World Bank.” Development Policy Review 33 (5): 653–71.

Authors: Lucy Ferguson, Sophie Harman


This article conducts a critical analysis of the World Bank’s current infrastructure strategy from a feminist perspective, arguing that failures to define gender and set meaningful targets and indicators have meant that gender has not been integrated into the implementation of infrastructure projects. It sets out three limitations to the Bank’s approach to gender and infrastructure: lack of awareness of gender in the four sectors that comprise infrastructure; the Bank’s narrow approach to gender equality and women’s empowerment; and the failure of the Bank to mainstream gender in its current infrastructure strategy.

Keywords: gender, World Bank, infrastructure, WDR 2012

Topics: Gender, Women, Infrastructure, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2015

A CGE Analysis of the Impact of Foreign Direct Investment and Tariff Reform on Female and Male Workers in Tanzania


Latorre, María C. 2016. “A CGE Analysis of the Impact of Foreign Direct Investment and Tariff Reform on Female and Male Workers in Tanzania.” World Development 77 (January): 346–66.

Author: María Latorre


This study analyzes the impact on female and male workers of tariff reform and the reduction of regulatory barriers faced by domestic and foreign firms operating in business services. It develops a data set that distinguishes labor by gender for 52 sectors and four skill categories. The model is the first to incorporate modern trade theory to assess its gender implications. The Dixit–Stiglitz framework results in productivity gains, which increase remunerations across all worker categories. However, this is less beneficial for women because the less skilled workers and the ones that are less involved in business services gain less.

Keywords: gender, FDI in services, trade, ad valorem equivalents, endogenus productivity effect

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Men, International Financial Institutions Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Tanzania

Year: 2016

The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development


Coles, Anne, Leslie Gray, and Janet Momsen. 2015. The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development. Routledge.

Authors: Anne Coles, Leslie Gray, Janet Momsen


"The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development provides a comprehensive statement and reference point for gender and development policy making and practice in an international and multi-disciplinary context. Specifically, it provides critical reviews and appraisals of the current state of gender and development and considers future trends. It includes theoretical and practical approaches as well as empirical studies. The international reach and scope of the Handbook and the contributors’ experiences allow engagement with and reflection upon these bridging and linking themes, as well as the examining the politics and policy of how we think about and practice gender and development. 

Organized into eight inter-related sections, the Handbook contains over 50 contributions from leading scholars, looking at conceptual and theoretical approaches, environmental resources, poverty and families, women and health related services, migration and mobility, the effect of civil and international conflict, and international economies and development. This Handbook provides a wealth of interdisciplinary information and will appeal to students and practitioners in Geography, Development Studies, Gender Studies and related disciplines." (WorldCat)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Gender Analysis, Health, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2015

The Post-Washington Consensus and Economic Representations of Women in Development at the World Bank


Bergeron, Suzanne. 2003. ‘The Post-Washington Consensus and Economic Representations of Women in Development at the World Bank’. International Feminist Journal of Politics 5 (3): 397–419.

Author: Suzanne Bergeron


In the past few years, the neoliberal Washington consensus has given way to a ‘post-Washington consensus’ aimed at integrating social and economic dimensions of development, paying attention to broader goals such as sustainability, and challenging the old state versus market dichotomy. Among its other effects, this shift in development thinking has contributed to a greater emphasis on gender concerns in development institutions such as the World Bank. This article examines the recent innovations in economic theory that have informed these efforts. Through an analysis of the ways that these theories construct meanings about gender equity and development, the article concludes that the post-Washington consensus maintains the economistic and colonial discourses of neoliberalism, and thus provides little space for the meaningful social transformations called for by feminists working in development.

Keywords: gender and development, social capital, economic representations, World Bank

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, International Financial Institutions

Year: 2003

The Globalisation of Mining and Its Impact and Challenges for Women


Tauli-Corpuz, Victoria. 1997. “The Globalisation of Mining and Its Impact and Challenges for Women.” International Conference on Women and Mining, Baguio City, Philippines.

Author: Victoria Tauli-Corpuz


In the following paper, which was delivered at the conclusion of an International Conference on Women and Mining held in Baguio City, in January 1997, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz considers the impact of large-scale mining with particular focus on its impact on women. As the dominant players in large-scale mining are transnational corporations, and in view of the role played by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization in facilitating the expansion of such mining, she argues that the local struggle against mining has to become an integral part of the national and world struggle against globalisation itself.


“The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have played significant roles in facilitating the opening up of large-scale mining in our countries, through loans which are given to the governments to build the infrastructure needed to support the mining operations (roads, energy sources, etc.) or through direct loans to the mining companies themselves, and by helping draw up the blueprint for the economic development of our countries.” (Tauli-Corpuz, 1997, p. 1)
“Since the 1970s up to the present, the Third World have been under the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) of the WB-IMF. The main elements of such programmes have been the privatisation of state-controlled corporations (e.g., mining corporations), removal of subsidies, tightening of government budgets, with cutbacks on social services, reforms in tax codes, liberalisation of the agricultural and mining sector, etc. to allow the entry of foreign mining corporations. This also means liberalisation of investment codes, mining codes and agrarian reform codes.” (p. 2)
“State violence against women is used to weaken the peoples' opposition to destructive mining operations and to the entry of mines.” (p. 3)
“We have come up with many recommendations and proposals on how we should address the problems which we have identified. The general recommendations are the following:
1. More systematic and widespread information dissemination and sharing of experiences on the different forms and levels of struggles on the mining issue.
2. Education campaigns to increase awareness of the communities on the global restructuring of the mining industry, globalisation in general and the relation of these to their local situation.
3. Alliance-building with the other sectors of society who are also marginalised and oppressed.
4. Networking among women and among communities affected by mining operations.
5. Joint campaigns on common issues and concerns. Pressuring governments not to sell out to foreign mining corporations and instead give priority to the interests of the majority population in the country.
6. Strengthening viable alternatives on the local levels which can be built up to the regional and national levels. (Third World Resurgence No. 93, May 1998).” (p. 4-5)

Topics: Development, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Globalization, International Financial Institutions

Year: 1997

Equality Means Business? Governing Gender through Transnational Public-Private Partnerships


Prügl, Elisabeth, and Jacqui True. 2014. “Equality Means Business? Governing Gender through Transnational Public-Private Partnerships.” Review of International Political Economy 21 (6): 1137–69.

Authors: Elisabeth Prügl, Jacqui True


From the World Bank's 'gender equality is smart economics' to The Economist's 'womenomics' and Nike's 'girl effect', feminism seems to have well and truly penetrated the business world. Government action on behalf of gender equality is well institutionalized but private corporations appear as a new actor in this cause. This article asks: What do businesses and their public partners do in order to advance gender equality? What motivates their engagement now and how does it fit into existing public and private relationships of power? What do they mean for feminist agendas? How legitimate are they? And how effective are they? To address these questions the article examines four exemplary initiatives involving businesses in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment: the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Global Initiative, the World Economic Forum's Women Leaders and Gender Parity Program, the European Union's Programme on Gender Balance in Decision-Making Positions, and the UN Global Compact-UNIFEM Women's Empowerment Principles for Business. Our purpose is to conceptually locate these initiatives as new private forms of governance involving partnerships with governments. We assess these initiatives employing criteria of feminist evaluation and find decidedly ambiguous results. We argue that the new attention to gender equality in business and global economic governance is both an expression of and a key process in the transformation of states and corporations in the context of global competition and restructuring.

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Multi-National Corporations

Year: 2014

The Political Economy of ‘Transnational Business Feminism’: Problematizing the Corporate-Led Gender Equality Agenda


Roberts, Adrienne. 2015. “The Political Economy of ‘Transnational Business Feminism’: Problematizing the Corporate-led Gender Equality Agenda.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (2): 209–31.

Author: Adrienne Roberts


This article traces the emergence of a politico-economic project of "transnational business feminism" (TBF) over the past decade. This project - which is being developed by a coalition of states, financial institutions, the UN, corporations, NGOs and others - stresses the "business case" for gender equality by arguing that investments made in women can (and should) be measured in terms of the cost savings to families and communities, as well as in terms of boosting corporate profitability and national competitiveness. This article uses a feminist historical materialist framework to argue that TBF is facilitating the further entrenchment of the power of corporations to create "expert" knowledges about both "gender" and "development." Using the Nike-led "Girl Effect" campaign as an example, it is argued that TBF is promoting a naturalized and essentialized view of women and gender relations that ignores the historical and structural causes of poverty and gender-based inequality. It is also helping to reproduce the same neoliberal macroeconomic framework that has created and sustained gender-based and other forms of oppression via the global feminization of labor, the erosion of support for social reproduction and the splintering of feminist critiques of capitalism.

Keywords: transnational business feminism, feminist IPE, feminist historical materialism, the business case for gender equality, World Bank, social reproduction, the Girl Effect

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Financial Institutions, International Organizations, Multi-National Corporations, NGOs, Political Economies

Year: 2015


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - International Financial Institutions