Gender is on Agenda: Gender mainstreaming for PfPPPs.

The achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women is at the center of the SDG Agenda: SDG.5 is specifically dedicated to gender equality. Think about it- a separate Sustainable Goal was established to underline the importance of this issue. Gender equality is also part of the concept of people-first PPPs, coined by the UNECE to bring value for people and value for climate to the PPP value chain

When we think about women representation, this is not only roughly 50 percent of population. Let's not forget about kids and elderly people, women are taking care of. The number of people affected and a value behind is much higher.

What is the problem?

Infrastructure projects typically did not take a systematic approach to gender issues, including public–private partnerships that were also often criticized for not ensuring gender equality.
Let’s take an example of healthcare infrastructure, where a gender analysis is extremely important, as women require in average more medical services than men, the pattern of sicknesses and medical needs for men and women significantly differentiate; access to healthcare is for women is sometimes more difficult, as women are mainly disadvantaged due to low income and ability to travel.
Gender equality is not only about ensuring social balance and helping socially vulnerable groups. It is also about the quality of the asset to be created and if this asset is not designed properly, it will be not used at the long-term and sustainable way.

Who are the women in the PPP value chain?

  1. Women as direct users of infrastructure ( hospitals, roads, airports)
  2. Women as stakeholders. They might not necessarily be using an infrastructure asset but they could benefit or visa versa to be impacted in a negative way, e.g. noise from the airport or polluted air from highway traffic.
  3. Women participating in PPP value chain, public officials, architects, planners, advisors, engineers, managers, financiers, etc. How to empower their voice and protect their interests? They are creating an added value by bringing our insights and knowledges. They are bringing new perspectives. A lot could be still done about a payment gap between men and women, chances to take leadership positions, life/work balance, etc…

Problem solution

Every infrastructure project, including those using PPP modality, should be designed, implemented and monitored to ensure gender equity in line with SDG.5. It is important to make sure that gender considerations are increasingly integrated with assistance of gender mainstreaming: a process that integrates a gender perspective in public policies, infrastructure development plans and infrastructure projects. Gender mainstreaming actions should be applied along a whole project cycle (design, implementation, project monitoring and evaluation).

This is easy to say but difficult to implement. It means extra effort and extra money combined with low awareness about the necessity of such actions.


How we could address it?

How Does Gender Analysis Help to shape properly Infrastructure Projects? According the OECD report «Why Gender Matters for Infrastructure», the following measures should be considered:

  • Identifying gender-specific priorities, needs and usage of infrastructure
  • Designing facilities and services which are responsive to users’ needs, by differentiating those needs based on gender and other social factors
  • Identifying specific target groups by more accurately understanding who is “poor” or most “needy”
  • Understanding and addressing the differential impacts on women, men, girls and boys
  • Understanding and addressing the socio-economic situation and cultural contexts
  • Identifying the potential problems in access to and use of infrastructure which can arise from existing or traditional land usage or water rights
  • Challenging assumptions and stereotypes
  • Understanding the constraints and barriers to women and men’s participation in project activities and access to benefits
  • Designing strategies to enhance positive outcomes and remedial measures to address negative impacts


What is the current situation?

In terms of existing methodology, we are fine. Quite comprehensive guidelines and tools were developed by various international organisations: OECD, ADB, AfDB, WB Group and by the national governments. But in terms of implementation of those guidelines, proofs are lacking to confirm whether the developed infrastructure projects are providing gender equality.

How to promote gender mainstreaming for infrastructure projects?

  1. by linking it with SDG reporting. Each country took a commitment to implement Sustainable Development Goals and, therefore, has to report on its implementation. The effort should be localized, to anchor SDG.5 on Gender Quality in development of sustainable infrastructure
  2. by using the following methods for Integrating Gender Equality into design, delivery, performance monitoring or evaluation of infrastructure projects. This allows for the measurement of differences between women and men on various social and economic dimensions related to a project.
    • Gender Analysis:
    • Gender-Sensitive Stakeholder Consultations:
    • Sex-Disaggregated Data: data collected and tabulated separately for women and men.
    • Gender Action Plan
    • Gender- Allocation Resources Plan:
    • Gender Indicators:
    • Gender Monitoring:
    • Gender Impact Assessment:
  3. by collecting good cases and promoting best practices regarding well-thought governmental policies and responsible private sector
  4. by coordinate gathering statistical data as to projects that encorporate gender issues versus projects without gender considerations.
  5. by creating and strengthening networks promoting and empowering women in PPPs, like the WAPP and to liase with organisations providing knowledge in this regard.

To address these issues, the WAPP has initiated a new workstream. Women for PPPs to consider gender equality for PPP projects. Our task to put into practice already existing gender -mainstreaming tools and sensibilise the public and private partners about proper gender analysis.