The World Bank Group’s (World Bank) mission is to eliminate poverty and assist people by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors .
The World Bank is made up of two development institutions owned by 186 member countries: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA) . They purport to achieve the Millenium Development Goals by addressing global challenges in ways that advance an inclusive and sustainable globalization—that overcome poverty, enhance growth with care for the environment, and create individual opportunity and hope . The World Bank places a special emphasis on searching for solutions to the special challenges of post-conflict countries and fragile states .
Under the World Bank structure, the Gender and Development Group is tasked to mainstream high quality gender analysis in the products that the World Bank offers: lending, analytical work and advisory services . Asserting that gender equality is now a core element of the World Bank’s strategy to reduce poverty, the organization adopted a Gender Mainstreaming Strategy Paper in 2001 .
To advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, the World Bank launched a four-year action plan . Entitled “Gender Equality as Smart Economics,” the objective is to improve women's economic opportunity by investing in the improvement of women's access to jobs, land rights, financial services, agricultural inputs and infrastructure .