Chapter 9: Infrastructure and gender equity
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To many, the subject of gender and infrastructure is still an enigma even though policy-makers and development workers have increasingly been thinking about and working toward gender equality in all economic and social spheres. Targeted analyses exist, of course, describing the gender dimension of infrastructure sectors such as energy, water and sanitation, transport, and information technologies. This literature highlights the human costs of the lack of infrastructure services, or the ways such services can improve women’s access to new economic opportunities. In several countries, research projects have facilitated significant insights regarding the integration of gender equality in sectoral policies and projects. However, the linkage between gender equality and infrastructure as a whole has not yet been extensively researched or documented, neither methodologically nor empirically, with the result that limited macro data and empirical evidence are available to guide policies and practices. The World Bank (2006) broke new ground when it included infrastructure in its gender action plan for 2007–10. The action plan recognizes infrastructure as essential for increasing women’s access to the four key markets: land, finance, product, and labor.

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