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Strategic investments in urban infrastructure have the potential to close gender gaps and open up opportunities for women in Asia. Despite enormous gains in recent years, many of the infrastructure projects remain gender blind.
Understanding this need and the catalytic role of women in urban development, CDIA promotes gender equality in its processes and activities in line with its Gender Strategy and Action Plan.
“Gender considerations have always been high on the agenda of CDIA,” said Carsten Gloeckner, Social Development Specialist and focal person on gender. “Whether for project preparatory studies (PPS) or capacity development activities, we make sure that women are not only beneficiaries but also active players in planning and decision making. We want to make sure that no one is left behind,” he added.
CDIA supports infrastructure investments with inclusive design features that pay attention to gender. In 2017, around 80% of the projects aimed at improving access of women to social services, 70% aimed at improved health for women and children and 15% aimed at improving access of women to sources of income.
To date, CDIA has helped put in place various infrastructure and services that are improving the lives of all; and some women have these to say:
“Previously the public transportation here is not really pro-women especially at night if they need to go home from somewhere. But the Transjogja Bus System provides safer, reliable, and more comfortable ride particularly for women. It also makes it easier for them to access their places of work, hospital and other places,” said Mrs. Dyah Puspitasari, Director of PT. Anindya Mitra Internasional, Trans Jogja Operator in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
“Its so nice to relax here because its air-conditioned, especially that I have a baby. Unlike before where there’s really no place to stay. I can even breastfeed comfortably now, and my baby is quite comfortable and happy, too!” said Juliet, a regular commuter of Iloilo-Buenavista ferry route, which docks at the new Parola Terminal Complex in Iloilo City, Philippines.
Apart from gender mainstreaming in project planning and implementation, CDIA itself pursues and supports gender equality within the organization with a relatively balanced workforce of 47% females and 53% males as of December 2017. Further, CDIA’s capacity development activities with city partners, and national and regional partner organizations often serve as platforms for discussing social issues of which gender is a central one.