Improving outcomes for women and girls is fundamental to PIDG’s mission to improve infrastructure for economic development and poverty reduction. Poverty and marginalisation are disproportionately experienced by women and girls. Improving women’s participation in the workforce leads to major gains in economic growth and infrastructure projects that do not address the needs and concerns of women are at greater risk of failure.
In 2017, PIDG sought to map out more clearly the risks and opportunities for gender impacts associated with infrastructure finance. In partnership with the Netherlands Royal Tropical Institute, it published a report on International Women’s Day setting out examples of how telecommunications, energy and transport infrastructure can deliver positive outcomes for women as workers, users of infrastructure and stakeholders in decision making processes. This also highlighted some of the potential elements of project design that can lead to infrastructure failing women and providing services that are not fit for purpose.
In 2018, PIDG will use the knowledge from this review to pilot a new framework for improving project outcomes for women and girls. This will assess whether projects do the ‘minimum’, are ‘empowering’ or, at the highest level, ‘transformative’, and find practical steps to improve project contributions to gender equality and inclusion. This could mean smarter and more inclusive community consultation, better training and recruitment practices, or redesigned services to better meet the needs of women as consumers, to name just a few examples.