Gender and social inclusion is essential to achieving MCC’s mission to reduce poverty through economic growth. Studies show gender and social inclusion leads to stronger economies, increases in household incomes, and higher business profits. As a known constraint to sustained economic growth, MCC integrates social inclusion into every phase of its investments. MCC’s Gender Policy, first adopted in 2006, requires gender considerations in program development and design, project assessment and implementation, program results monitoring, and impact evaluations.
IDENTIFYING SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS
Three of the indicators that MCC uses to assess countries’ eligibility for MCC assistance relate to gender. The Gender in the Economy indicator, for example, measures a government’s commitment to promoting gender equality by providing women and men with the same legal ability to participate in the economy. Once a country is selected as an MCC partner, MCC identifies the key binding constraints to economic growth in the
country to guide investment decisions. This includes an analysis of social and gender inequalities that may shape policies and institutions and influence how economic growth impacts poverty and different groups within a society.
DESIGNING INCLUSIVE PROGRAMS
In designing programs, MCC seeks to fund activities that will generate measurable income increases for large numbers of people in partner countries, particularly the poor. As part of that process, MCC analyzes potential beneficiaries, including how different demographic and geographic groups – including women and other marginalized
populations – will benefit from proposed interventions. Each MCC investment requires a partner country to complete a Social and Gender Integration Plan, which provides a comprehensive roadmap for social inclusion and gender integration throughout the program.
FOCUSING ON RESULTS
Through monitoring and evaluation efforts, MCC gathers and analyzes data on its beneficiaries by gender and key socio-economic traits. Credible, reliable, and comparable sex-disaggregated data is critical to making smart investment decisions, identifying what works and what doesn’t, and designing programs that maximize growth and reduce poverty.
GENDER AND SOCIAL INCLUSION IN PRACTICE
The participation of women, girls, the poor, and other marginalized groups in MCC investments – as workers, decision-makers, and productive beneficiaries – is essential to their economic empowerment across sectors.
- Education: Individuals’ ability to be productive members of society starts with the opportunities available to them during childhood and adolescence. Through construction and rehabilitation,
MCC increases access to schools and supports policy reform and teacher training that help to create an effective learning environment. In Burkina Faso, for example, the BRIGHT program boosted primary school completion rates for girls and young women by 13.5 percent and enrollment by 10.3 percent, while youth unemployment and marriage rates declined by 5.5 and 6.3 percent, respectively.
- Energy: Reliable electricity can promote better health and education within communities and free up time and labor. To reach unserved rural and peri-urban communities in Benin, for example, MCC is co-financing off-grid, clean energy solutions, which includes equipping women with the skills to leverage electricity and the sale of energy products to increase their incomes.
- Health, Water, and Sanitation: Women, girls, the poor, and other marginalized groups often bear the greatest burdens associated with poor access to health services, water, and sanitation. MCC invests in infrastructure, social and environmental safeguards, policy reforms, and education and training to increase access to these resources. In Cabo Verde, for example, MCC worked with the government to reform the country’s water and sanitation institutions, including creating a unit dedicated to expanding water access and affordability. MCC also partnered with The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation to establish a Social Access Fund in Cabo Verde, which has benefited more than 4,300 households to date, providing piped water to 22,500 people and sewer connections to 9,300 people.
WORK WITH US:
MCC partners with a wide variety of organizations to increase the scale, impact, and sustainability of our poverty-reducing programs. Whether you’re interested in working with MCC headquarters or an MCC partner country, we invite organizations across the globe that share our interests to learn more about business, partnership, and job opportunities with MCC by visiting www.mcc.gov/work-with-us.
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FACT SHEET: MCC & GENDER AND SOCIAL INCLUSION | NOVEMBER 2017