ADB, Japan to Help Bangladeshi Women Benefit from Rural Development

News Release | 25 January 2011

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Japan will help Bangladesh strengthen measures aimed at ensuring rural women benefit from infrastructure projects.

ADB recently approved a technical assistance grant of $500,000 from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) which will support Bangladesh's Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) to further advance gender equality and women's empowerment in rural infrastructure initiatives.

"This technical assistance will provide the LGED with the necessary gender mainstreaming knowledge and tools to promote greater participation of women in rural infrastructure projects. ADB is pleased to partner with JFPR on this initiative," said project leader R.K. Khan, a Natural Resources and Agriculture Economist in ADB's South Asia Department.

The assistance will be used to help the LGED develop gender equity initiatives such as targets for women's employment in project construction, equal pay for women for work of equal value, and women-friendly working conditions.

It will also draw up performance criteria for local governments in order to increase women's involvement in local government. As part of this component, 20 Union Parishads (local government institutions) will be given access to funds for infrastructure development such as village roads and market upgrades, if they meet the performance standards for female participation.

Along with the JFPR grant, administered by ADB, the Government of Bangladesh will provide in-kind support of $75,000, for a total cost of $575,000. The technical assistance project will be implemented over four years, starting in 2011.