Colors of Life

The World Bank Opening

Colors of Life International Photo Contest 2012: “Investing in Women and Girls” visually accompanies the Law, Justice and Development (LJD) Week 2012 which will explore the potentially transformative role of effective law and legal institutions in providing people with more opportunity that is both inclusive of underserved populations and equitable.

As Marina Galvani, World Bank Art Curator stated: “Studies after studies show the vast benefits to societies that come from investing in girls and women. We see healthier and better educated children, more productive economies and the widespread enjoyment of a basic human right – gender equality”.

These photos open windows into the worlds of a unique group of photographers who have thought about what it means to be a woman. They are artists who have been fascinated by the complexity, diversity, interactivity and individuality of half of the world’s population. In “Investing in Women and Girls”, rather than celebrating humanism we celebrate “womanism” - not the human being at the center of the universe, but the special vantage point from which women live, dance, sing, fight, scream, work and love.

To explore this theme, LJD Week 2012 will bring together World Bank Group staff, senior officials from other international financial institutions, international development practitioners, government officials, lawyers, judges, scholars and representatives from civil society. LJD Week 2012 will be a World Bank Group-wide event co-organized by the World Bank’s Legal Vice Presidency, IFC and MIGA Legal Departments, and ICSID, in addition will host the formal launch of the “Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development” and dedicated sessions led by its Thematic Working Groups.

In a world that is increasingly interconnected and risky, the quest for opportunity by individuals and organizations shines a new spotlight on the potentially transformative role that effective law can play in accelerating and sustaining growth, as well as in ensuring that growth can be both inclusive of underserved populations and equitable across society.

Countries around the world continue to struggle with an economic downturn that threatens contagion from Europe across borders. Countries with developing economies across Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean, the Middle East, East Asia and South Asia grapple with how to jump-start or sustain growth, knowing that they face unmet demand for jobs for an increasing population. New ways to examine the impact of law on national economic development explore how changes in private laws, in a variety forms across many different countries, can bring together ideas and capital to create opportunities for accelerated and sustained growth.

Social and political changes, prompted by a range of financial crises, food shocks, health crises and natural disasters around the world make clear the potential impact of people’s consistent demand for access, reach and quality of opportunity and services. Increasing connectivity and use of social media feed a growing demand for open, accountable and equitable governance. It is mandatory to find new ways to assess the impact of insufficient access to effective justice on people’s lives and examine why despite recent changes, unfortunately poverty, exclusion and inequity persist in all regions.