By joining the global initiative, OeEB commits to scale up gender-lens investments that help advance women as entrepreneurs, business leaders, employees, and consumers.
"Reducing inequalities and tackling the obstacles that still limit women’s economic participation and opportunities are key to accelerate development and reduce poverty. This is why we have anchored gender equality as a cross-sector objective in our strategy and aim to empower women through our investments. Joining the 2X Challenge highlights this commitment and we look forward to working with our DFI colleagues to advance gender-lens investing. Because investing in women benefits everyone", say Sabine Gaber and Michael Wancata, members of OeEB's Executive Board.
Alongside OeEB, the World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) became the newest member of the initiative.
About the 2X Challenge
The 2X Challenge was launched in June 2018 during the G7 Summit in Canada as a major new commitment to unlock resources that will help advance women in emerging markets as entrepreneurs, as business leaders, as employees and as consumers of products and services that enhance their economic participation. Since its launch, additional DFIs have joined the initiative, backing investments and initiatives that provide women in developing countries with access to leadership opportunities, quality employment, finance and enterprise support.
A core aspect of the 2X initiative was the establishment of the 2X Criteria, which help investors identify gender-smart investments, define gender investment strategies and monitor impact and have quickly become a global industry standard for gender-lens investing.
Just two years after its launch, the members of the 2X Challenge have committed USD 6.88 billion and mobilised another USD 4.5 billion in gender-smart investments from private investors, securing more than double the original USD 3 billion target. By the end of 2022, the initiative aims to raise a further USD 15 billion.
This significantly more ambitious new goal underlines the success of investing with a gender lens to support women in accessing good quality jobs, building resilient businesses and managing the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic which disproportionally affects women and magnifies inequalities that limit women's economic participation and business opportunities. New research shows that USD 1 trillion could be lost from global growth if female workers in sectors that were hardest hit by the pandemic do not return to the workforce.
Invest in women. Invest in the world.
A growing body of evidence suggests that identifying effective ways to support women as entrepreneurs, leaders, employees, and consumers will increase gender equity, reduce poverty, and promote more inclusive and robust economic growth. Studies show that women represent a growth market bigger than China and India combined. Investing in women is therefore not only the right thing but also the smart thing to do.
Jessica Espinoza, Chair of the 2X Challenge and Vice President, Investments at the German Development Finance Institution DEG, said: 'The incredible increase in gender lens investing that the 2X Challenge is unlocking in this next phase will play a vital role in creating equitable, resilient, sustainable economies in the post-COVID-19 recovery. Investing in women is good business – and a catalyst for achieving all of the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)."