Gender and infrastructure
With increasing public investments in infrastructure, it is crucial to ensure that benefits from these investments are equitable and informed by an understanding of gender impacts to contribute effectively to fairer long-term growth while also progressing gender equality.
Explicit alignment of long-term national infrastructure plans with inclusion and gender mainstreaming policies in OECD countries, 2020
Support to procurement workforce on how to promote gender equality in infrastructure procurement in OECD countries, 2020
Why is this important?
Women and men do not benefit equally from public investments. Both genders have diverse needs and use infrastructure differently depending on their social roles, economic status or preferences. Women and men also face different challenges in terms of poverty, unemployment, safety, wellbeing, economic and political empowerment.
By incorporating gender considerations into the infrastructure cycle and involving more women in infrastructure leadership, governments can ensure public investments effectively contribute to progressing gender equality and eradicating violence against women and girls.
A life-cycle perspective is key to preventing emerging policies and reforms from being disassociated and siloed, which can negatively impact their efficiency and effectiveness. It also ensures that women’s voices are heard at all stages of the investment and delivery process.
How to adopt a gender mainstreaming approach during the infrastructure life cycle?
A long-term strategic vision that is informed by a thorough assessment of gender-differentiated needs can respond to the specific needs women and girls. Gaps in gender-disaggregated data should be adequately identified, as well as strategies to facilitate its collection and systematic use for infrastructure needs assessment.
Female voice and agency
A gender-inclusive stakeholder engagement process can promote female voice and agency. Eliminating barriers holding back women of diverse backgrounds from becoming involved in infrastructure leadership is an additional way to support a more meaningful participation of women.
Project appraisal, risk assessment and desgin
Gender-specific impacts of infrastructure throughout the entire asset cycle should be considered in rigorous project appraisal and risk assessment processes. Gender equality considerations can also be integrated into in project design and technical specifications to account for gender-differentiated uses and needs in terms of access to services, safety and affordability.
Capital budgeting tools can support governments in mobilising resources towards transformative investments that effectively progress gender equality goals.
Procurement and delivery
Training provided to the public procurement workforce on mainstreaming gender equality and incorporating gender considerations into tender requirements, as well as into contract implementation clauses, can further build gender understanding in infrastructure projects’ delivery and execution.
Monitoring and evaluation
Robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms ensure gender equality objectives are met in infrastructure delivery. Having key performance indicators and targets across the different stages of the infrastructure life cycle is considered good practice.
Country case studies
- Gender mainstreaming in planning and prioritisation
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020-2023
- Gender-disaggregated infrastructure data
- Mainstreaming gender considerations
- Investing in Canada Plan
- Gender-based Analysis Plus
- Women in Construction Fund
- Infrastructure Economic Account (GIH, 2021)
- U.S. Bank Stadium (GIH)