London, March 8, 2016—IFC, a member
of the World Bank Group, today joined 34 stock exchanges in a global initiative
to “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”—a partnership that highlights
how the private sector can spur global growth by helping ensure that women
participate in economic activity at the same rate as men.
Stock exchanges from Nairobi to Amman,
Dhaka, Fiji, New York and London participated, ringing opening or closing
bells to mark International Women’s Day. Events have taken place since
March 3 and will continue during the week to come, with IFC ringing the
opening and closing bell on March 8 on its Washington, D.C., and London
“Empowering women is not only the right
thing to do—it is also the smart thing to do,” said IFC Deputy Treasurer
Georgina Baker during the event hosted on IFC’s London trading floor.
“With a full-fledged treasury team based in London, we are keen to deliver
innovative financial solutions that demonstrate the business case for gender
equality and help unleash the full economic potential of women and girls
in Europe, Middle East and North Africa."
IFC has established a robust Banking
on Women program to lend to women-owned small and medium-sized enterprises
through financial institutions in emerging markets. By end of February
2016, IFC has invested over $1 billion in women entrepreneurs through this
IFC believes that women—as consumers,
employees, business leaders, and entrepreneurs—have the potential to transform
the global economy, supporting job creation, raising per-capita incomes,
and promoting sustainable development. That’s why we work to promote gender
inclusion in all of our activities. By leveraging our relationships with
about 1,000 financial institutions and private equity funds, we help expand
access to finance for women entrepreneurs. In 2014, IFC clients provided
670,000 jobs to women in emerging economies.
“Ring the Bell for Gender Equality”
focuses on raising awareness about the business case for women’s economic
empowerment and the opportunities for the private sector to advance gender
equality, which is a key Sustainable
Development Goal. It is a
partnership of IFC, the Sustainable
Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative,
Global Compact, UN
in ETFs, and the World
Federation of Stock Exchanges.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group,
is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector
in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide,
we use our capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where
it’s needed most. In FY15, our long-term investments in developing countries
rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential
role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.