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Current research suggests that there is differentiated access to use of and control over infrastructure facilities and services by men and women, linked to inequalities in intra- household relations, property rights and cultural restrictions (Doran 1990). Yet in reality infrastructure projects are often gender insensitive because it is assumed that women and men will automatically equally benefit from new infrastructure, without due acknowledgement of the full range of social and economic impacts, whether positive or negative. Too often, the positive outcomes experienced by women through infrastructural projects have been unintended and unplanned. Well-designed, appropriately located and affordably priced infrastructure can be a powerful tool in the pursuit of gender equality. Therefore, gender mainstreaming should not only be regarded as a factor requiring attention in infrastructure projects but rather must be considered as a critical factor in ensuring the project’s success and sustainability by ensuring that women do not become worse off both absolutely and in relation to men (World Bank 2008). 

Examples of Gender Indicators for Infrastructure Project Cycle

Project design and input indicators.

  • Infrastructure constraints on men's productive roles and women's economic, domestic and community

    management roles addressed.

  • The economic and cultural issues affecting women's and men's access to transport and services identified and


  • Staff in Project Coordination Team identified to facilitate women's participation in the project.

  • Overall institutional structure set-up will help to encourage staff to address gender in their projects. This can be through increased gender sensitisation of staff, providing appropriate tools to undertake gender sensitive monitoring, ensuring quarterly progress reports are reporting gender disaggregated data on project achievements, establish dialogue amongst staff on constraints and achievements in addressing gender issues in the project, etc.

  • Include HIV/AIDS indicators related to awareness, access to health services, treatment and counselling.

Project implementation indicators.

  • Gender responsiveness of institutional arrangements and delivery systems for inputs.

  • Participatory project planning and implementation with women and men in communities, including procurement activities of the project.

  • Training, capacity building and methodologies used cater for both women and men.

  • HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns for workers and communities and activities promoting access to health services, treatment and counselling.

Project output indicators.

  • Increase in number of women selected to participate in project activities such as road or path construction and


  • Increase in ratio of women to men with access to appropriate physical infrastructure;

  • Increase in ratio of women to men with access to employment and income generating activities.

  • Increase in HIV/AIDS awareness, access to health services, treatment and counselling.

Project impacts indicators.

  • Reduced time and costs for women and men taking goods to the market.

  • Increased income for women and men.

  • Increased number of women and men entrepreneurs on road sides;

  • Reduced traffic related accidents;

  • Increase in security for communities in the region;

  • Increase in enrolment rates in primary and secondary schools;

  • Improved women’s participatory and decision making skills in community infrastructure management issues;

  • Improved maternal and child health;

  • Reduced HIV/AIDS prevalence;


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