Investing in women as agents of change: the EIB Group at the Women Political Leaders Summit #WPLsummit

Investing in women as agents of change: the EIB Group at the Women Political Leaders Summit #WPLsummit

  •  Release date: 05 June 2018
  •  Reference: 2018-143-EN
  • Female financial inclusion and economic empowerment top of agenda for EIB Group  joining Women Political Leaders Summit in Vilnius
  • Secretary General of European Investment Fund to tell WPL Summit how new EIB Group Gender Strategy can move the rights of women and girls to the heart of its activities

Secretary General of the European Investment Fund Maria Leander and Head of Global Partners at the European Investment Bank Maria Shaw Barragan will be at the Women Political Leaders Summit on the 7th and 8th of June to debate, alongside female global leaders, how to boost female financial inclusion and economic empowerment.

Last year, the EIB Group financed EUR 78.2bn of projects around the world making it the world’s largest multilateral borrower and lender by volume. With its Gender Strategy and Action Plan, the EU Bank will deploy its influence further - to apply a gender lens to its activities and value women as agents of change to tackle challenges such as climate change and migration.

Maria Leander, Secretary General of the European Investment Fund (EIF), which is part of the EIB Group, will participate in the high-level plenary session ‘Freedom is a women’s birthright’.  

Ahead of the event, she said: Female economic participation is a right and a freedom - and it also makes economic sense. I am delighted to debate ways to advance this crucial cause with fellow female leaders, policymakers and politicians at the WPL summit in Vilnius.  Last year the EIB Group invested more than 87 billion dollars/ 78 billion euro in operations around the world. Armed with our new Gender Strategy and Action Plan I believe that firepower can be directed to give new momentum to the cause of female economic empowerment and the protection of the rights of women and girls. 
Maria Shaw Barragan, Head of Global Partners at the EIB, will discuss with Ministers and investors at the EIB Policy Focus session on ‘Money or Mentorship?: How politicians and financiers can team up to ensure financial inclusion and economic empowerment for women’. Using practical examples, this session will explore the policy and financial responses needed to support the economic empowerment of women, both in fragile regions and more ‘developed’ regions of Europe.

I am very pleased to be part of the Women Political Leaders summit debate this year, because as this edition rightly says:  Its about time! We do indeed need to increase our efforts globally to reach gender equality and financial inclusion, as we are not there yet. There is a momentum to push this agenda further and I am looking forward to engaging with women leaders from all sectors, policy, business and civil society. Women are agents of change. Empowering women will help us all to deal with the major and pressing challenges we face: climate action, irregular migration and poverty and of course the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals., said Maria Shaw Barragan.

Please let us know via press contacts below if you would like to interview EIB representatives and project partners:

  • Maria Leander, Secretary General of the European Investment Fund (EIF), EIB Group
  • Maria Shaw Barragan, EIB Director of Global Partners Department
  • María Inés Zigarán, Minister of Environment of the Province of Jujuy, Argentina
  • Désirée van Boxtel, Co-Founder and Partner, Karmijn Kapitaal, the Netherlands
  • Abeba Tesfai, Director, Women Financial Services & Marketing, Enat Bank S.C - Ethiopia bank run by from women for women

More information:

EIB Gender Strategy and Action Plan

To improve the impact of its activities on women and girls, in December 2016 the EIB Group adopted a Strategy on Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Titled “Protect, Impact, Invest”, this Strategy and related Action Plan, approved earlier this year, will guide the Group to further contribute to the 2030 Agenda on the whole and, more specifically to the Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDGs) aiming to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” by 2030.

Women Political Leaders

The Women Political Leaders Global Forum (WPL) is the global network of female politicians. Its mission is to increase both the number and the influence of women in political leadership positions. WPL is an independent, international, post-partisan and not-for-profit foundation. Its members are women in political office – Ministers, Members of Parliaments, Mayors.

The WPL summit, organised each year, gathers female political leaders from around the world. In addition, other experts and thought-leaders from academia, business and civil society are invited to participate. Participants meet in the Parliament of the host country. The WPL summit addresses today's intertwined global challenges, and offer the opportunity to exchange best practice of and knowledge on political decision-making. Discussions are held with the purpose to get to action. Read more information on the WPL Summit 2018

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