Published on Eurasian Perspectives

A Message on International Women’s Day

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Message for Romania

Dear Romanian women and men

Happy International Women’s Day! On this special occasion, as we celebrate the values of diversity and inclusiveness, we should all be reminded that gender equality is the foundation of economic and social progress.

Gender equality is central to eradicating poverty, enhancing prosperity and breaking cycles of deprivation.

Gender equality is essential to empowering both women and men with the opportunity of success and the prospect of happiness.

Gender equality is the one big “equalizer” that can unlock tremendous talents, energies and skills to advance a more sustainable human development for generations to come.

For all of us in the World Bank office in Romania gender equality remains a vital priority for our work.

We commit ourselves daily through our investment projects, analytical studies and policy advice to advance an agenda that is at the heart of supporting Romania’s efforts to achieve a more inclusive and prosperous future for all of its citizens.
  • We support gender equality by working to eliminate biases and promote the equal and indiscriminate participation of women in the labor market, including in positions of leadership. In Romania, female labor participation is 57 percent and women in senior positions of leadership account for only 31 percent. Romania currently ranks 76th out of 144 countries on the gender gap index. We must do better than this. Addressing Romania’s gender gap is a smart way to support growth; 
  • We support gender equality by combatting marginalization, including against Roma women, and ensuring that every Romanian woman and man has access to the basic needs and public services required to help them succeed in life. Romania continues to experience one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the EU. Our support to health-sector reforms aims to help Romania improve its health outcomes to comparable EU levels;   
  • We support gender equality by working to empower every Romanian with the knowledge and skills to successfully compete in the 21st century. Our support to education sector reforms, our focus on addressing Romania’s convergence and growth agenda, place gender at the forefront of World Bank development goals.
Romania must continue to address the challenges that hinder an equal role for women in society. This includes addressing the issue of equal access to secondary and tertiary education, especially for Roma women, addressing gender-based and domestic violence, reducing disparities in health and employment outcomes and reducing the risks of poverty and exclusion for marginalized groups.

This is a joint task and all of us in Romania should play our role in building a more tolerant, inclusive and fair society, and support our women!


Elisabetta Capannelli

World Bank Country Manager, Romania

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