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Gender in infrastructure

Context

This area of work supports countries in mainstreaming gender considerations throughout the infrastructure life cycle. Incorporating gender considerations in infrastructure decision-making supports all the pillars of the OECD Recommendation on Governance of Infrastructure and, in particular, the pillars on developing a long-term strategic vision for infrastructure, guarding fiscal sustainability, affordability, and value for money and ensuring transparent, systematic and effective stakeholder participation. 

The report

> READ THE REPORT on the OECD Ilibrary

The OECD Report "Women in Infrastructure - Selected Stocktaking of good practices for inclusion of women in infrastructure" explores challenges policy makers face when mainstreaming gender into infrastructure and proposes a framework for incorporating gender considerations at each stage of the public investment process. The report also provides guidance on how to involve more women in leadership and infrastructure decision making.  

 For more information about the report, please contact Lorena Cruz Serrano (Lorena.CRUZSERRANO@oecd.org) and Ana Maria Ruiz Rivadeneira (AnaMaria.RUIZRIVADENEIRA@oecd.org).

Why is this important?

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 effectively contribute to fairer long-term growth while also progressing gender equality. 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. Moreover, men overwhelmingly dominate infrastructure decision-making, even if the projects are targeted at female end-users.

By incorporating gender considerations throughout infrastructure planning, decision-making and delivery processes, governments can identify the gender impacts of infrastructure decisions and prevent one group from disproportionally benefitting at the expense of disadvantaging others. Robust governance frameworks provide governments with tools to align infrastructure planning, decision-making, and implementation with key targets on gender equality and the elimination of violence against women and girls. A life-cycle perspective ensures that public investments are efficient and effective in progressing gender equality and that women’s voices are heard at all stages of the investment and delivery process.

> A long-term strategic vision should be informed by a thorough assessment of gender-differentiated. Gaps in gender-disaggregated data, as well as strategies to facilitate its collection,  should be adequately identified.

> A gender-inclusive stakeholder participation process can promote female voice and agency. Identifying barriers for women of diverse backgrounds to get involved in infrastructure leadership is an additional way to support  more meaningful participation of women.

> Gender impacts of infrastructure 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 such as access to services, safety and affordability.

> Capital budgeting tools can support governments in mobilising resources towards transformative investments that effectively progress gender equality goals.

> Training the public procurement workforce on incorporating gender considerations into tender requirements and contract implementation clauses can support a gender angle in infrastructure projects’ delivery and execution.

> Robust monitoring and evaluation mechanisms ensure gender equality objectives are met in infrastructure delivery. Key performance indicators and targets across the different stages of the infrastructure life cycle are considered a good practice.