WASHINGTON, November 24, 2020—Gender-based Violence (GBV) is an urgent global issue that affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime. GBV devastates the life and well-being of its survivors and imposes high social and economic costs that undermine development and exacerbate poverty. The Bank is committed to fighting gender-based violence in all its forms and has zero tolerance for its occurrence in Bank-financed projects.
The World Bank is now the first multilateral development bank to disqualify contractors for failing to comply with GBV-related obligations. These contractors will not receive Bank-financed contracts anywhere in the world for two years. After this period, the contractors will have to demonstrate their capacity to meet the Bank’s requirements for preventing GBV before receiving a new Bank-financed contract.
“Gender-based violence is unacceptable,” said World Bank Group President David Malpass. “We are committed to mitigating and preventing risks of GBV in the projects we finance through robust policies, standards, and practices. Contractors who do not meet the bar will be disqualified.”
The disqualification builds on a tested, credible and independent contractual mechanism embedded in good industry practices and in the Bank’s Standard Procurement Documents for Large Works. It emphasizes prevention through continuous independent monitoring of compliance with GBV-related obligations throughout contract implementation. It will apply to large works contracts procured after January 1, 2021, under infrastructure projects rated high risk for GBV.
The design of the disqualification mechanism benefitted from an extended global engagement with key stakeholders including government counterparts, development partners, contractors and contractors’ associations, and national and international CSOs.
Financing a large portfolio of infrastructure contracts, the World Bank expects that the new disqualification mechanism will further raise the bar for preventing GBV and incentivize well-performing contractors. We hope other MDBs will follow us in deepening our collective fight against GBV by adopting similar concrete measures.