David Malpass was officially elected the president of the World Bank last week, and began his new duties Tuesday.
And as the former economic analyst eases into the role, singer and Global Citizen Ambassador Becky G urged him to empower female entrepreneurs around the world in a video on Tuesday morning.
The young singer, who is of Mexican descent, tweeted at the new World Bank head from Oaxaca, Mexico, where she recently spent time at the Vida Nueva women’s cooperative, and asked him to support women-owned businesses.
.@DavidMalpassWBG I've teamed up w/ @GlblCtzn to fight for a world where #SheIsEqual. Women's economic empowerment is key to end extreme poverty. As the new @WorldBank President will you commit to support women owned businesses? #WBGMeetingshttps://t.co/PUGLe9TUHgpic.twitter.com/RaDLdBD1w2— Becky G. (@iambeckyg) April 9, 2019
Becky G asked Malpass — who takes over the role after Jim Kim’s sudden resignation was announced in January — to join the fight for a world in which “all women have the opportunity to become leaders, innovators, and job creators” — a world in which #SheIsEqual.
Her call echoes that of approximately 20,000 Global Citizens who have signed their name to our petition calling on all the nominees for World Bank President to prioritize gender equality.
Around the world, women and girls still face immense social and economic inequality.
More than 130 million girls globally are out of school, according to UNESCO. And women-owned businesses account for less than 1% of the money that governments and large corporations spend on vendors, according to nonprofit WEConnect International.
I have joined @GlblCtzn to fight for a world where #SheIsEqual. I spent time in Teotitlán Del Valle. A beautiful, proud, indigenous, Mexican Pueblito. This experience connected me to my roots & was such a blessing. I had the honor of meeting the “Vida Nueva” collective. These women are VERY passionate about what they’ve created together. They work & spend countless hours everyday to create these beautiful, handmade, traditional pieces of art with such strong cultural meaning. Yet, because of government laws & discrimination their business struggles to reach its fullest potential. They continue to fight, believe, and overcome these obstacles EVERYDAY. To me they are a true testament to what can happen when women come together and when we support the women around us. (There is a link in my IG stories I would like for you to check out.)
But the world cannot succeed, and poverty will not be eliminated by 2030, if half the world’s population is held back. Investing in women through education and financial empowerment is crucial to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals of establishing gender equality and ending extreme poverty.
As an international NGO that provides advice and financing to developing countries to help combat poverty, the World Bank has a key role to play in achieving these goals, too. The World Bank, which has 189 member countries, has the power and the resources to empower women around the world. By committing to investing in and sourcing from women-owned businesses, the World Bank can help lead by example.
And on April 11, the World Bank responded by affirming this commitment.
We hear you @GlblCtzn@IamBeckyG and join our support with citizens around the world for #GenderEquality. The WBG remains committed to our Gender Strategy to #EmpowerWomen for our client countries and the people they serve. https://t.co/B5fjwJOFjc— WBG Gender (@WBG_Gender) April 11, 2019
This story was updated on April 23, 2019, to reflect the World Bank's response.