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BIPR | Gender-based Violence in Development Projects
Gender-based Violence in Development Projects

April 8, 2021 - 18:30

Online Event

Imrana Jalal, The Inspection Panel, The World Bank

Event Recap

Event Materials:

Gender-based Violence in Development Projects

hosted by Professor Arntraud Hartmann

Imrana Jalal
The Inspection Panel, The World Bank

Globally, 35 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, or sexual violence by a non-partner. This figure does not include sexual harassment. Gender-based violence (GBV) has also become a prominent issue in a number of development projects funded by international financial institutions (IFIs). GBV concerns seem to be particularly prominent in infrastructure projects where a temporary influx of often large numbers of male construction workers threatens the security of women and girls and the social fabric of a community. However, serious violations have also been highlighted in environmental projects where only a limited number of workers are involved. GBV has also been recorded in the operations of a wider range of international organisations, including the World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam International and the UN. Internal independent accountability mechanisms of IFIs, which assess complaints of people who allege that they have been harmed by development projects funded by IFIs, have recently dealt with GBV complaints. Several investigations conducted by these mechanisms found serious violations. This seminar will present two prominent cases investigated by the World Bank Inspection Panel. It will present findings of the investigations and discuss approaches IFIs and other agencies could take to mitigate risks of GBV in projects they fund.

A presentation of lessons learned from cases investigated by the Inspection Panel can also be found HERE.


Imrana Jalal is the Chair of the Inspection Panel of the World Bank.

A Fiji national, Jalal is a lawyer, gender specialist and development practitioner, with more than 30 years of experience across diverse geopolitical and multicultural environments in the private and public sectors.

As Principal Social Development Specialist (Gender and Development) for the Asian Development Bank from 2010-2017, Jalal gained intimate knowledge of multilateral development bank operations in various sectors and demonstrated her ability to engage and build rapport and trust with stakeholders on various complex issues.

A lawyer by profession, Jalal was a Commissioner from 1999-2001 on the initial Fiji Human Rights Commission, the first of its kind in the Pacific Island countries. She is the author of "Law for Pacific Women: A Legal Rights Handbook," architect of the Fiji Family Law Act 2003, and a founding member of the Fiji Women's Rights Movement. In 2006 she was elected a Commissioner on the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), which was established to protect the independence of judges and lawyers, and served on the Commission's Executive Board from 2011-2017. From 1995-2010, Jalal was Chief Technical Adviser at the Pacific Regional Rights Resource Team Office .

Jalal earned a Masters of Arts with a focus on Gender and Development from the University of Sydney, and an LLB and LLM (Hons.) in International Law from the University of Auckland.
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