Update on World Bank Group engagement with legislators
March 2020 Edition - View online
World Bank Group and Parliamentarians
International Women’s Day He for She Survey


International Women’s Day He for She Survey

The year 2020 is a milestone on the gender equality agenda – it marks the 25-year anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, an unprecedented plan for the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women signed by 189 nations, and only ten years left to meet Sustainable Development Goal #5 to attain gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. People often think of gender equality as a fight to be won by women and girls, but just as any other challenge of the 21st century, it is one that requires the participation of women and men, girls and boys.

The first female speaker of Malawi, Catherine Gotani Hara, who was recently elected by her parliament, is an excellent example:

“(In Malawi) we only have 45 women in parliament out of 193. For me to win at the National Assembly as Speaker of Parliament, the best champions for my campaign were men. There is a need for us to get the men involved to help us get the agenda that we want.”

In honor of International Women’s Day in this important year, the World Bank Global Parliamentary Engagement team conducted a He for She survey, asking two prominent young male parliamentary champions of gender equality about the importance of women in parliament and how parliaments can take action to better educate and empower both girls and boys to overcome discriminatory gender norms.

Full Story with Responses
Blog: Africa Takes Historic Lead in Female Parliamentary Speakers


Africa Takes Historic Lead in Female Parliamentary Speakers
By Nayé A. Bathily, Head of Global Parliamentary Engagement, The World Bank Group

The archetype of the strong African woman standing as an unmoving pillar of her community is one that transcends national borders on the African continent. While in the past, this image often faded the instant a woman crossed the threshold of business or politics, 2019 saw significant advances in female leadership spanning the public and private arenas in Sub-Saharan Africa. As an African woman working in development, I am delighted to finally see years of meaningful measures to promote gender equality being reflected in Africa’s leadership.

In the political realm, the number of female speakers in both upper and lower houses of parliament on the continent totaled an encouraging 16 women out of 75 legislative bodies according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Uganda, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland), Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Liberia and Zimbabwe. The region is now second only to Europe with seventeen female heads of parliament currently in office out of 70 legislative bodies. This stands in stark contrast with just eight female heads of parliament in Asia, and only one in the Middle East and North Africa.

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Women, Business and the Law 2020: Measuring gender inequality in the law


Women, Business and the Law 2020: Measuring gender inequality in the law

Women, Business and the Law analyzes laws and regulations impacting women’s economic participation across 190 countries. The 2020 edition found that 40 economies made 62 reforms to advance women’s economic inclusion. Eight areas are covered by the index: Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension. The most frequent reforms were in Parenthood, with 16 economies enacting positive change, although this is also the area where reforms are needed the most.

Press Release | Website | PDF
World Bank External and Corporate Relations VP Meets Hervé Berville MP, Member of Foreign Affairs Committee, France


France: World Bank External and Corporate Relations VP Meets Hervé Berville MP, Member of Foreign Affairs Committee, France

PARIS, February 27, 2020 - World Bank External and Corporate Relations Vice-President Sheila Redzepi met with Hervé Berville MP and Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, France to explore avenues for collaboration in view of a new French law on development expected to be passed by parliament in March. Also present from the World Bank were Mario Sander, Director, Europe, and Nayé Bathily, Head, Global Parliamentary Engagement.
Mr. Berville is a rising star in development who is seeking to modernize France’s approach to issues by engaging in more ambitious partnerships and international solidarity policies. He wrote a report in 2019 “One Common World, One Future For All” which includes 36 proposals, half of which were selected by the government to be implemented into the new French development law. During the meeting, he discussed the new law and next steps following its adoption, highlighting how the World Bank could collaborate on both. Ms. Redzepi underscored how the law aligns with World Bank priorities and operations, pointing out that the Bank boosted investment in the Sahel, and that the $82 million IDA 19 replenishment has a strong focus on Africa and FCV, as well as climate and gender.
The World Bank in France
The World Bank, the IMF and the Parliamentary Network Brief with European Parliament


Europe: The World Bank, the IMF and the Parliamentary Network Brief European Parliament

“The global and the European agenda belong together. We have the same interests and it is the people who are affected…We must be fit for the future. And we can only be fit if we give common European answers to challenges. Global challenges are European challenges. We need more global thinking.” Othmar Karas, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs

STRASBOURG, January 16, 2020 – The World Bank European team held a breakfast meeting at the European Parliament (EP) in Strasbourg, France. It was organized in collaboration with Othmar Karas, Vice-President of the European Parliament and Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, a champion of development who is seeking to strengthen engagement between the World Bank and the EP.

The event was attended by 18 participants from the European Parliament. Also present were the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF to encourage active participation in the network, as well as the IMF to clarify their role as an IFI in meeting the global agenda.
The meeting was opened by Mr. Karas who made a powerful case for dialing up engagement between the EP and international organizations to meet shared global goals. MEPs then received short briefings on the work of each organization, with an emphasis from the WBG on the new FCV strategy and our parliamentary engagement. MEP from Germany and Coordinator of the DEVE Committee, Udo Bullman closed stating that the public debate on development needs to be more factual and less symbolic, pointing out that international organizations such as the World Bank and IMF can help support debates with facts. Discussion questions covered topics such as the future of the EU ODA financial architecture; the evolution of the World Bank and IMF’s mandates over time; the World Bank’s support to MICs; the World Bank’s approach to monitoring and evaluation; as well as of incorporation of lessons learned in the design of new projects to promote the best use of public taxpayers’ resources for development at the country-level.  
The World Bank in the EU
World Development Report 2020 Presentation


Morocco: World Development Report 2020 Presentation

RABAT, January 14, 2020 - Jesko Hentschel, World Bank Maghreb Country Director met with Habib El Malki, President of Morocco’s House of Representatives in his first visit to the Moroccan Parliament. It was an opportunity to discuss avenues for collaboration to promote a closer dialogue on pressing development priorities for the country.
Hon. El Malki emphasized MPs’ interest in the World Bank Group’s research and analytical production, from global reports such as the annual World Development report to Morocco-focused studies on governance, human capital and spatial development. Mr. Hentschel informed Hon. El Malki of the upcoming World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings which will take place in Marrakesh in 2021, highlighting the opportunity for greater collaboration and dialogue between the World Bank and the Parliament of Morocco in the run up to the events.
The World Bank in Morocco
Zambia: Country Office Shares Findings of the 12 Economic Brief with MPs


Zambia: Country Office Shares Findings of Economic Brief with MPs

LUSAKA, December, 2019 - The World Bank Zambia Office shared highlights of the 12th bi-annual Zambia Economic Brief titled “Wealth Beyond Mining: Leveraging Renewable Natural Capital” with Members of Parliament in Lusaka. The report suggests that investments in non-timber products as well as nature tourism could generate high economic returns for the country without contributing to deforestation or the expansion of forest plantations into key natural forest areas.

World Bank Country Manager Sahr Kpundeh said that Zambia needs to undertake bold fiscal and structural policy reforms to preserve macroeconomic stability, boost business and market confidence, and improve its growth prospects. Senior Country Economist Samson Kwalingana, who is also an author of the brief, said that the report highlights multiple opportunities that Zambia’s abundant renewable natural resources present to support sustainable economic growth, “Zambia has large unexploited potential in forestry. What lacks are good policies and incentives to promote a business environment conducive to competition and investment.”

The World Bank in Zambia
2020 Global Parliamentary Conference


Postponed: 2020 Global Parliamentary Conference

The sixth edition of the Global Parliamentary Conference (GPC) set to take place on April 13-14, 2020 in Washington D.C. will be postponed due to the unfolding global health situation. It is expected to be rescheduled during the October Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF.

The GPC is the flagship parliamentary event of the World Bank, co-organized by the International Monetary Fund and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF. It presents a unique occasion for some 150 parliamentarians from around the world to engage for the first time with World Bank and IMF senior management regarding today’s most pressing development challenges.

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Replay: Debt in Lower-Income Economies – A Conversation between David Malpass and Kristalina Georgieva


Debt in Lower-Income Economies –
A Conversation between David Malpass and Kristalina Georgievae

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass had a conversation on the debt situation in lower-income economies. They discussed how these countries can best mobilize the funding necessary for development while ensuring public debt sustainability. The conversation was moderated by Anna Gelpern, Professor of Law at Georgetown University, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

Watch video
Statement by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass on the 2020 IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings


Press Release
World Bank Group Announces Up to $12 Billion Immediate Support for COVID-19 Country Response

Statement by IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David
Malpass on the 2020 IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings

Press Release
Obesity-Related Diseases Among Top Three Killers in Most Countries

Press Release
Mari Pangestu Appointed World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships

Press Release
Designing Gender-Inclusive Cities that World for All

Press Release
IDA Debuts in Sterling with Successful GBP 1.5 Billion, 5-Year Benchmark Bond
Parliamentary elections watch


December 22, 2019


Parliamentary elections in Uzbekistan were held on December 22, 2019. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party came in first winning 53 seats in the 150-seat legislative chamber. In second place came the Democratic Party Milliy Tiklanish with 36 seats, followed by the Social Democratic Party with 24 seats, the People’s Democratic Party with 22 seats and the Ecological Party with 15 seats. The five parties contesting remained almost in similar positions in comparison with the 2014 parliamentary elections, with the Liberal Democratic Party and the Social Democratic Party winning one and four additional seats respectively, and the People’s Democratic Party losing five seats.

January 9, 2020

Sint Maarten

Legislative elections in Sint Maarten are organized by proportional representation. The National Alliance became the ruling party with 35.20% of representation, earning them 6 seats in the 15-seat parliament. The previous ruling party, the United Democrats, an alliance between the Democratic Party and the United People’s Party (UPP), split. The UPP secured 24% of the votes, earning them 4 seats, while the Democratic Party won only one seat.

January 26, 2020


The Peruvian Parliament held its elections on January 26th for the first time since parliament was constitutionally dissolved in September 2019 by President Martín Vizcarra, when they contravened a Presidential trust measure on modifying the rules of election of the judges of the Constitutional Court (TC). Out of 130 seats in Parliament, Acción Popular won 25, Alianza para el Progreso secured 22, whilst Frente Popular Agrícola and Fuerza Popular each won 15 seats. Unión por el Perú secured 13 and Podemos Perú and Somos Peru, got 11 seats. The remaining two parties, Partido Morado and Frente Amplio, won 9 seats each. 

February 8, 2020


Following the dissolution of Ireland’s lower house of parliament on January 14, a general election was held on February 8. While Fianna Fáil won most seats in parliament (38), Sinn Féin won the popular vote - doubling its vote share from the previous election in 2016. Despite this success, Sinn Féin only won 37 parliamentary seats due to the limited number of candidates put forward by the Party. The incumbent party Fine Gael lost 15 seats, bringing its total to 35. This leaves no party with a majority in the 160-seat Dáil Eireann. Coalition talks between all of Ireland’s parties have been ongoing since the election, and a re-run of the vote remains a possibility. The previous Fine Gael administration, led by Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, will continue as caretaker until a new government is formed.

February 23, 2020


The second round of legislative elections were held in Comoros after the first round on January 19, 2020 that decided 19 out of 24 seats in parliament. The second round concluded with the presidential Convention for the Renewal of Comoros (CRC) party taking 20 out of 24 seats in parliament, with two seats given to the Orange party, and two others to Independents. Opposition parties did not partake in these elections.

March 1, 2020


Elections in Tajikistan are held in two rounds, with the first round electing 41 members out of 63 as single-member constituencies, and the second round deciding 22 seats with proportional representation. A single vote is cast, and the second round is determined through total votes from the first ballot to determine the proportional seats. The People’s Democratic Party, the current ruling party and largest political party in the country, won 50.4% of the votes and a total of 47 seats in the Assembly of Representatives. The Party of Economic Reform and the Agrarian party came in second and third place respectively, securing 5 and 7 seats each. Turn-out was strong, at 86.4%.

March 2, 2020


The third round of elections in less than a year resulted in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party winning 36 seats out of the 120-seat Knesset. This is short of securing a parliamentary majority, and his party is up against the rival centrist Blue and White alliance, who won 33 seats in parliament. The Joint List of parties representing the minority Arab community in Israel came third with 15 seats in parliament. It is not yet clear whether Netanyahu will be able to form a government, given his difficulty to do so on the previous two attempts in the last year, and with the introduction of a bill to prevent an indicted Prime minister from serving, now that it has enough endorsement to pass.
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