With the World Bank’s current gender strategy set to expire next year, hints of the focus of the new strategy are keenly anticipated. While the Bank has confirmed that development of the strategy is yet to begin, a focus on care and social protection has emerged in its gender work. One challenge for the Bank will be to stop undermining the targeted work of the gender team with fiscal consolidation and regressive tax-focused loan conditions in its Development Policy Financing. The Bank’s current gender strategy, for fiscal years (FY) 2016-23, focuses heavily on themes such as improving human endowments, removing constraints for more and better jobs and removing barriers to women’s ownership and control over assets. Civil society have criticised the strategy’s instrumentalist approach to women’s empowerment, the lack of a system of accountability, and the absence of a macroeconomic lens (see Observer Winter 2016).

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