Thursday, 06 October 2022 21:19

Gender bonds, an opportunity for women's economic development

Written by Evelyn Alas

According to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it explains that gender bonds are fixed income securities that capture capital allocated for new projects that support the advancement, empowerment and equality of women.

The IDB Invest published yesterday that it completed its $1.6 billion 2021 financing program entirely with sustainable bonds under its Sustainable Debt Framework, according to its "Inaugural Allocation and Impact of Sustainable Bonds" report.

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The program included US$1 billion of sustainability bonds, US$424 million of social bonds and US$186 million of green bonds to finance green and inclusive private sector projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. These included Mexico's first gender bond issued by a supranational issuer, and the first blue bond issued in the region.

The IDB states that gender bonds are a fantastic financial alternative to empower women economically, entrepreneurially and socially. It adds that Latin America has become the leading region in gender bonds issued, with a total of 14 operations and 12 issuers.

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A study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), called "Gender bond and its impact on the economic growth of El Salvador" explains that the decade of emergence of the optimal moment of the demographic bond between 2010 and 2019, the country has had a territorially divergent capacity to take advantage of the gender bond.

In 8 of the country's 14 departments, the economic participation of the population aged 16 to 59 years has increased between 2010 and 2019, with results in closing the gap between the levels of participation between men and women.

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However, in 3 of the 14 departments of El Salvador, there was an increase in the incorporation of the population into the productive force, but at the expense of an increase in gender inequalities.

In 2019, the gender gap in economic participation exceeds 40 percentage points in Morazán, San Vicente, Ahuachapán, Chalatenango, La Unión and Cabañas.

The IDB details that it is only to be hoped that this trend will be extended to other sectors, because gender equality is not a matter of a few. It is something that involves, affects and benefits us all.