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Gender and Equality in Public Procurement

As part of International Women’s Day, the World Bank Group is organizing an exchange day on Thursday, 11 March 2021, at 10 AM, on the theme “Gender and Equality in Public Procurement”.

Prominent experts will discuss good practices and lessons learned and innovative initiatives to integrate gender issues into public procurement. This event will have simultaneous interpretation in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic.


Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and women-led SMEs (WLSMEs) play critical roles in economic growth and development. However, the share of public procurement contracts that are won by SMEs, especially WLSMEs, remain low.  Only 1% of the $11 trillion spent annually on public procurement is awarded to women-owned businesses.

WLSMEs face administrative, financial and procedural challenges in accessing and participating in public procurement markets, due to the complexity and costliness of procurement processes.

Several countries are implementing policies specifically geared towards lowering barriers to entry for WLSMEs, as evidenced by the initiatives in Kenya, Senegal, and Scotland as well as initiatives taken by the World Bank’s own Corporate Procurement.

  • CHAIRS: Caren Grown, (Global Director, Gender, World Bank) Vinay Sharma, (Global Director, Gov-Procurement, World Bank)
  • DISCUSSANT:  Hiba Tahboub, (Practice Manager, Procurement (AFE), World Bank)
  • MODERATOR:  Nazaneen Ismail Ali, (Senior Procurement Specialist, World Bank)
  • REMARKS: Nagaraju Duthalari, (Lead Procurement Speicalist, World Bank)
  • KEYNOTE SPEAKER: JessicaTillipman, (Assistant Dean for Government Procurement Law Studies, GW University Law School)
  • PANELISTS: Alastair Merrill , (Vice-Principal, Governance at University of St Andrews), Eric Korir, (Director of Public Procurement National Treasury, Kenya), Sofya Muradyan, (Senior Private Sector Specialist, World Bank), Adam Rubinfield, (Procurement Specialist, World Bank, Corporate Procurement)