The development and upgrading of infrastructure in general and through public-private partnership (PPP) projects can improve the availability and quality of essential infrastructure services as well as access to employment, education and markets, income-generating opportunities and entrepreneurship.
The expansion of electricity grids, the construction of new roads and bridges, as well as the provision of water supply and sanitation services is, however, not gender neutral as men and women have different roles and responsibilities in their households, communities and markets.
The World Bank Group, through its 2016 – 2023 Gender Strategy, has identified four objectives important to promoting gender equality:
- Improving human endowment gaps, meaning gaps between men and women related to health, education and social protection;
- Removing constraints for more and better jobs, by increasing women’s participation in the labor force, their income-opportunities, and their access to productive assets;
- Removing barriers to women’s ownership of and control over assets, such as land, housing and technology;
- Enhancing women’s voice and agency by including women in decision-making around delivery of and by reducing gender-based violence.
PPP programs and projects can play an important role in addressing these objectives by advancing the development of infrastructure that reduces poverty while promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the long term.
Including a gender perspective in PPP frameworks as well as the planning, design, development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of infrastructure projects can, for example, help to ensure that projects are designed that grant women equal access to transport, electricity, and water and sanitation services. Similarly, projects that include a gender lens can equip local women with skills, experience and tools to participate in decision-making and governance; contribute towards ending gender-based violence; or take measures to remove barriers to female employment, entrepreneurship and ownership of productive assets, e.g. by promoting skills development for men and women or by supporting women-owned businesses throughout the project lifecycle. As a robust evidence base shows, a more inclusive approach leads also to better development outcomes for the next generation and allows businesses and institutions to perform better.
This section provides access to legal resources, guidance and publications that could help decision-makers to plan, design, implement and monitor more gender-responsive PPP infrastructure programs, frameworks and projects.