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Promoting Gender Equality in the Infrastructure Sectors- African Regional Workshop


Addis Ababa – March 22, 2011- Today, H.E. Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Ethiopia, will lead the opening ceremony of a workshop on “Mainstreaming Gender Equality in the Infrastructure Sectors in Africa.” The Workshop will take place at the Hilton Hotel from March 22 to 24, 2011. The Workshop focuses on four key infrastructure sectors which are essential for growth and economic development: energy, irrigation, water and sanitation, and transport.

The Workshop is jointly hosted by the African Development Bank and the World Bank. 
It brings together government officials from more than 30 countries and representatives from bilateral and multilateral development banks to explore and share best practice models and approaches to mainstream gender in infrastructure projects. Other specific objectives include: (i) fostering equal participation of women and men in infrastructure project design, implementation and equal sharing of benefits; (ii) ensuring that women’s needs as well as men’s needs for infrastructure services are taken into account; and (iii) enhancing women’s economic empowerment, through equal access to the infrastructure labor and other markets.

A large attendance of specialists from these four infrastructure sectors as well as experts in finance, social development, gender and development is expected. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from successful projects and policies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Central Europe, and Latin America. They will also work in small groups to identify problems, share experiences, and develop a common agenda on the way forward.

The Workshop is organized under the auspices of the Gender Working Group of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), established in 2001 to strengthen the exchange of ideas and collaboration between International Financial Institutions on issues of gender equality in operations. The MDB Working Group, which brings together experts from development institutions and government officials, provides a platform for knowledge sharing across institutions, countries and regions.

The Africa event is a third in the series of regional workshops organized under the umbrella of the MDB Gender Working Group. It follows the Asia workshop conducted in 2008 in Manila, Philippines, and the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) event held in Lima, Peru, in 2009. The event is co-sponsored by the Agency for International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Germany (GIZ) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

During the workshop, on March 23, there will be an exhibition of projects in which participants will present their projects and share their experience with mainstreaming gender in infrastructure policies and projects.

Finally, the lessons learned and knowledge generated and shared during the Workshop – including research papers, case study materials and others— will be widely disseminated on the websites of the sponsoring banks and development partners.

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