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Update on World Bank Gender and Transport Activities

The World Bank Transport Sector has been actively engaged in gender issues for over a decade. The 2008–2012 Business Strategy, ‘Safe, Clean, and Affordable… Transport for Development’, renewed a strong commitment to mainstream gender. Most recently, the sector’s efforts in mainstreaming gender have focused on developing innovative analytical work, capacity building initiatives, integrating gender into projects in the regions, and gender-informed monitoring and evaluation, in part with resources awarded through the Bank-wide Gender Action Plan (GAP).

girls on the way to school5x5 white bullet5x5 white bulletA number of gender-focused studies on access and mobility have been undertaken in preparation for designing and planning interventions to improve transport access and mobility. Studies done in Yemen, Afghanistan and the West Bank have provided critical data relevant for understanding the gender and transport and mobility needs for accessing economic opportunities and key services such as health and education. Findings also demonstrated the importance of identifying priority transport needs and travel patterns by gender and to establish baseline gender data for designing and monitoring the effectiveness of project interventions.
TR-Gender Resource Guide 

The electronic 2007 Gender and Transport Resource Guide – a virtual library and summary of key issues and good practices, has been updated to include emerging issues such as climate change and post-conflict settings as well as the expanding literature on gender and transport in areas such as urbanisation and road maintenance. A new report, TP-28: Mainstreaming Gender in Road Transport: Operational Guidance for World Bank Staff, provides guidance to transport and gender specialists on how to mainstream gender into road operations, including relevant gender issues in the various operational contexts. It provides examples of the types of project components and related indicators that contribute to mainstreaming gender in Bank operations.

Women on road 

Innovative initiatives are paving the way for good project practices in a growing number of countries.  The Liaoning Urban Transport Project in China used participatory consultations with women and men to facilitate a dramatic change in the original urban transport project to include secondary road and pedestrian walkway improvements and traffic management safety measures. Innovative approaches including women in rural road maintenance, developed in Peru, have been adapted to other countries in Latin America and Asia. In 2010, Vietnam launched a pilot providing training to rural ethnic minority women in road engineering and road maintenance, and employing them to maintain 51 kilometers of rural mountain roads.

road construction 

In cooperation with the Research Group of the World Bank, the transport sector reviewed available household surveys in developing countries for insights on transport and gender issues. The research findings are entitled ‘What Do Existing Household Surveys Tell Us About Gender and Transportation in Developing Countries?’ This research demonstrated that while not a replacement for detailed transport studies, existing household surveys can provide national-level data, link transport use with welfare status, and enable tracking of changes over time and across countries for specific groups. In the long run, better data could be generated by incorporating additional questions on gender and transport into existing surveys, when possible, by systematising survey questions for better comparability, and by investigating existing data sources before launching a new survey.

Young woman learning 

Numerous capacity building activities were conducted in collaboration with the Transport anchor, the regional transport teams, the Gender Department and the Social Development Department to better disseminate existing knowledge while scaling up capacity on gender issues in transport. Clinics and learning events were organised for Bank staff to develop capacity for designing effective strategies for mainstreaming gender in transport operations. A workshop conducted in Hanoi, Vietnam, raised gender awareness and knowledge of the staff of the Ministry of Transport. Making Transport Work for Women and Men: Tools for Task Teams, prepared by the Social Development Department, repackaged existing tools for integrating gender into transport planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation as well as resettlement and HIV/AIDs. Specific capacity building studies covered a range of topics including gender and transport in post conflict Liberia, gender in the Ghana Urban Transport Project, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on the wives of migrant laborers. Finally, the World Bank has been actively engaged in showcasing good practice projects in regional multilateral conferences on gender and infrastructure held in Manila, Philippines (November 2008), Lima, Peru (December 2009), and in Tunis (2011).


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