The EIB Group Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment


The European Investment Bank adopted the EIB Group Gender Strategy on 13th December 2016, building upon an extensive review of and alignment with relevant EU legislation and policy documentation, in particular, the EU’s Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 and the Commission's Joint Staff Working document on Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016-2019. The Strategy further contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, whereby Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 5 aims to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by 2030, whilst gender equality is mainstreamed across all other SDGs. 

The document, titled "Protect, Impact, Invest: The EIB Group Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment", aims at embedding gender equality and, in particular, women’s economic empowerment in the Group’s activities, covering EIB lending, blending and advisory activity both inside and outside the European Union. It will support the protection of women’s and girls’ rights, enable the EIB to increase its positive impact on gender equality, and help focus support on projects that increase the participation of women in the labour market and economy. Whilst applying to EIB’s activities worldwide, regional and sectoral specificities in the Group’s portfolio will be considered in its application.  

The Strategy contains a smart mix of compulsory and voluntary elements, and is structured around three strategic action areas that serve as guiding orientations for the Bank’s focussed endeavours:  i) the protection of women’s rights in the Bank’s due diligence framework and in the requirements for our clients and promoters;, ii) increasing our operations’ positive impact on gender equality, while pursuing the Bank’s Public Policy Goals and Operational Plan objectives, and iii) the targeted promotion of women’s economic empowerment, including women’s increased access to employment and to credit/financial services, as well as support for female entrepreneurship. 

The Gender Strategy will take effect in January 2017 and will be implemented in a phased manner. A Gender Action Plan aimed at guiding implementation will be elaborated over the course of 2017, defining the milestones, prioritisation and phasing of activities.