Gender-Responsive Infrastructure

Gender-Responsive Infrastructure

Inclusive Infrastructure Development for Equal Opportunities and Benefits 

This group of experts from the public sector, academia and financial institutions launched the ‘Gender-Responsive Infrastructure’ workstream in March 2020 with two main goals in mind:

First, to counter the flawed yet widespread perception that infrastructure is gender-neutral, which consistently leads to a failure to adequately consider the different roles, responsibilities and needs of women. As a result of such gender-blind planning, women across the world remain disproportionally affected by inadequate energy, sanitation, transport and other critical infrastructures. Over the last months, this workstream has therefore been working to bring the following insight to the fore of global policy debates: Without a pivot to gender-responsible infrastructure, true progress on SDGs and the transformation towards a more sustainable, prosperous and inclusive future for all remains elusive.

Second, to move from theory to action, this group has been developing educational materials that provide actionable guidance to infrastructure professionals on how to plan, build and operate truly inclusive infrastructures.

Building on the progress and results of the work stream, EMSD and its partner, the Mexican development bank Banobras, initiated a training on gender-responsive infrastructure. The workshop deepened the knowledge on tools and strategies of about 20 participants from Banobras and Proyectos México. In five sessions, participants discussed case studies of Mexican infrastructure projects and shared their practical insights on the topic.

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Thematic Brief

"Gender-Responsive Infrastructure"

The document illustrates how COVID-19 unveiled the shortcomings of gender-blind infrastructure development. It makes the case that taking a gender-responsive approach would trigger enormous economic, social and environmental spill-over effects. Next, the document points to key existing tools and frameworks to successfully mainstream gender across the infrastructure lifecycle.

Policy Brief

Gender-Responsive Infrastructure for a Prosperous and Inclusive Africa

Sunita Pitamber and Zeinab Elbakri have been instrumental to setting up the African Network for Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN) – a group of women industry leaders that works to mainstream gender into the continental Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). ANWIN are currently working on a Policy Brief which outlines how African policy makers can unleash the potential gender-responsive infrastructure holds for women’s economic empowerment and the realization of Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Educational Material

Knowledge Repository on Gender-Responsive Infrastructure

This sheet presents a non-exhaustive collection of relevant sources in the field of gender-responsive infrastructure and gives actionable guidance to infrastructure professionals on how to plan, build and operate truly inclusive infrastructures. It is a product of the Solutions Lab Gender Workstream.

(Last Update: July 2021)

GSI Global Table - Vision Statement

"COVID-19 & the Reinforced Case for Sustainable Infrastructure Development"

The workstream participants contributed to the Global Table with a vision statement providing recommendations to the G20 on how to address economic recovery, climate change and gender inequality in an integrated approach to ‘building back better’.

Panel Discussion

Building Back Better - With Gender-Responsive Infrastructure

The workstream participants Cristina Contreras and Paramita Datta Dey contributed together with Mauricio Vazquez Vela from Banobras México and Luis Mejia from BlackRock to this event during the GIZ Gender Week 2021. The event promoted the debate on why infrastructure is not gender neutral and highlighted the great potential of Gender-Responsive Infrastructure for the COVID-19 recovery.


Should you be interested in learning more about the Solutions Lab, please reach out to:

Ms. Vanessa Bauer
  +49 6196 79-7424




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