The startling reality is that, despite all efforts to bridge the gender divide, we’re still far off from reaching the goal of a balance between genders in all aspects of life. This is where gender mainstreaming becomes a crucial vehicle to accelerate change. Gender mainstreaming is a strategic approach to dismantle gender discrimination and segregation to achieve gender equality commitments by centring women in policy research, planning and monitoring as well as policy dialogues, policy developments, legislation and resources allocation.
The African context, particularly in the infrastructure development sector, has to be treated as high priority to help accelerate regional and national development goals as the growth of the emerging economies rely heavily on such projects being gainful. We’ve established a gender mainstreaming programme, with the aim to source finance of large scale and small scale infrastructure, for women-owned or women-led organisations. Our focus areas for this programme include; energy, information communication and technology, transport as well as water and sanitation. We build according to these following four key pillars, which have the primary purpose of streamlining the processes to ensure the quality and success of the programme.
- Promoting investments in women-owned projects.
- Adapting strategies, policies and procedures to facilitate gender mainstreaming across our wide portfolio.
- Providing capacity building and knowledge sharing.
- Building partnerships with public and private partners who share our vision for gender equality.
The role of gender mainstreaming in development projects is significant in breaking down the barriers for women. And, our initiatives will bring women-owned or women-led businesses into the infrastructure value chain, as well as to achieve success in the project lifecycle stages of preparation, development, monitoring and maintenance.