Activities to Support Gender and Development

16 July 2014

Gender mainstreaming in West India

The ADB India Resident Mission (INRM) with the Ministry of Women and Child Development hosted the workshop meant for 45 participants from teams of ADB-financed projects in the Central and West Regions, from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. The workshop, intended to raise awareness on gender mainstreaming work in ADB projects, developed the project team members' understanding of gender sensitive designs, and of strategies that will ensure successful implementation of the projects' gender action plans. It is hoped that the workshop will result in improved GAP implementation in energy, urban infrastructure, transport and finance projects in the region.

The workshop was supported by the ADB TA 8420-IND: Enhancing Capacity of Executing and Implementing Agencies to Achieve Gender Equality Results.

30 June 2014

Green energy solutions for Tajik women

Women leaders from 7 districts in the Sogh Region attended a series of seminars entitled "Improving Your Home: Building an Energy Efficient Future" throughout the second half of June. Forty three women leaders from the districts of Spitamen, J.Rasulov, Istravshan, Asht, Qurghonteppa, Qumsangir, and Panj participated in this training of trainers (ToT).

Aimed at complementing the gender action plan (GAP) implementation of the Access to Green Finance Project in Tajikistan, the training enhanced the participants' understanding of 'green loans' and developed skills necessary for them to effectively liaise between potential borrowers and multilateral financial institutions (MFIs). The participants are expected to share knowledge on the benefits of energy–efficient homes and usage of energy-efficient facilities among their respective communities. They are also expected to form groups of community-based champions of the social and economic benefits - such as livelihood creation, health benefits, and time savings - afforded by green energy alternatives.

The training was supported by RETA 7563: Promoting Gender Inclusive Growth in Central and West Asia Developing Member Countries and was co-organized with Habitat for Humanity (HfH), a non-government organization (NGO) partner.

6 June 2014

External Forum on Gender and Development concludes meeting

ADB's External Forum on Gender and Development, including senior gender experts from eight member countries, ended meetings with ADB Vice-President Bruce Davis and senior staff on 6 June in ADB Headquarters. The Forum welcomed ADB's continued progress in gender mainstreaming, and provided input on current gender-related operations. Read the  agenda and  outcome document.

2 June 2014

Multilateral Development Banks call for joint actions for women's voice and agency

"Gender, Voice and Agency," a workshop sponsored by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), was held on 2-4 June 2014 at the ADB Headquarters in Manila. Representatives from MDBs, developing member countries, and development partners discussed conceptual frameworks, research findings, and approaches in enhancing women's voice and agency and agreed to work together to empower women. ADB's Vice-President Groff in his speech called for more action to economically empower women, reduce violence against women, decrease early and forced marriages, and promote women's participation in decision-making. View the  presentations and profile of speakers.

Philippine Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman shared that targeting women as cash transfer recipients substantially increased their autonomy in the household. The event also marked the launch of the World Bank's publication on Voice and Agency.

12 May 2014

India Resident Mission workshop on gender mainstreaming held

The India Resident Mission (INRM) and the Ministry of Women and Child Development organized a gender mainstreaming conference on 12 May that was proceeded by a two-day workshop.

The conference was focused on innovations and strategies for institutionalization of gender mainstreaming. The opening plenary was inaugurated by Ms. Rashmi Singh, executive director for the National Resource Center for Women (NRCW) of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW) and was composed of presentations from UN Women Country Representative Rebecca Reichmann Tavares; Department of Women and Child Development Principal Secretary Amita Prasad; Ministry of Women and Child Development Secretary Shankar Aggarwal; and ADB Principal Social Development Specialist (Gender and Development) Francesco Tornieri. Preeti Sudan of the Ministry of Women and Child Development also gave a statement. The opening plenary was followed by two sessions focused on how to institutionalize gender mainstreaming through policies, and mechanisms that enable marginalized communities access their rights.

The workshop held on 13-14 May in Bengaluru, Karnata was focused on gender responsive planning, implantation and monitoring. The workshop was opened by presentations from NRCW, NMEW; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; Department of Women and Child Development; ADB; and UN Women. The sessions that followed introduced the concept of gender mainstreaming and gender analysis frameworks and tools; mainstreaming gender in specific sectors; and implementing, reporting and monitoring gender action plans. NRCW, NMEW Executive Director Rashmi Singh delivered welcoming and final remarks.

The conference and workshop were meant for the southern region of India and were attended by 40 participants, including project directors and staff of ADB-financed projects. These events were supported by ADB Technical Assistance 8420: Advanced Project Preparedness for Poverty Reduction - Enhancing Capacities of Executing and Implementing Agencies to Achieve Gender Equality Results (Subproject 29).

12 April 2014

Workshop on starting a business for women held in Azerbaijan

ADB's Central and West Asia Department (CWRD) organized the workshop which was held in the town of Masalli and was attended by 15 local women living within the vicinity of the ADB-funded Masalli-Astara road project. The participants were introduced to the basics of business startups and topics covered registration process for entrepreneurs, business taxes, communications, and micro loan procedures with banks and microfinance institutions.

The two-day workshop was held under the Program on Women Entrepreneurs in Regions (POWER), a pilot project under RETA 7563. The women beneficiaries of POWER are from Azerbaijan’s Lenkoran, Masalli, Astara and Lerik regions where traditional gender roles are still deeply rooted in their way of life. In these regions, early marriage for girls has been a practice and the female population has a relatively low level of education, limiting women’s employment and earning opportunities. POWER intends to help these women overcome challenges in operating and expanding businesses in efforts to raise rural incomes. 

31 March 2014

Gender and the Labor Market: publications launch

The launch featured five joint publications--Gender Equality and the Labor Market: Cambodia, Kazakhstan and the PhilippinesGood Global Economic and Social Practices to Promote Gender Equality in the Labor MarketGood Global Legal Practices to Promote Gender Equality in the Labor MarketGender Equality in the Labor Market in Cambodia, and Gender Equality in the Labor Market in the Philippines--by the ADB, International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Philippine Commission on Women (for the Philippine report) on promoting gender equality in the labor market in Cambodia, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines and the related good global legal, economic, and social practices. Hosted by the Gender Equity Community of Practice, the event marked the closing of ADB’s annual Women’s Month celebrations.

In his speech, James Nugent, ADB's Director General of Southeast Asia Department, said the publications identify the seven major labor market gender gaps, namely, labor force participation rates; employment rates; human capital; unpaid domestic and care work burden; share of vulnerable employment; decent work; and social protection. He mentioned that only 30% of Asian women are engaged in non-agriculture wage employment (in some economies, even less than 20%), and females generally earn around 20%-50% less than their male counterparts.

ILO Director Jeff Johnson delivered launch comments noting that the labor market should promote equal opportunities for all (men and women) and encouraged the creation of decent and productive work, promotion of rights at work, access to social protection, and advancement in social dialogues. He flagged concerns over high rates of vulnerable employment where women are more susceptible than men.

Philippine Commission on Women Executive Director, Emmeline Verzosa, also delivered remarks and shared the Commission’s work on women’s rights against the backdrop of the labor market. She also commented on the labor-related highlights of the recently concluded outcome document from the 58th session on the UN Commission on Status of Women.

Imrana Jalal, ADB Senior Social Development Specialist (Gender and Development) of the Regional and Sustainable Development Department facilitated the event. In her statement, she remarked that the clamor for employment generation, reduction of vulnerable employment, and improvement in decent work opportunities require broad macroeconomic responses and gender inclusive national employment plans. She noted that the publications, which were completed in late 2013, emerged through the ADB technical assistance project, Promoting Gender Equality in the Labor Market for More Inclusive Growth.

27 March 2014

ADB takes a leading position on gender advocacy in Pakistan

Pakistan Resident Mission Country Director (CD) Werner Liepach reaffirmed ADB’s commitment to women’s empowerment at the Interagency Gender and Development Group (INGAD) meeting at the ADB Pakistan Resident Mission. In his welcome statement CD Liepach reiterated ADB’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment, and highlighted ADB’s efforts to address gender issues in Pakistan. During the meeting, ADB outlined priority areas for engaging with the government, donors, civil society organizations and other major stakeholders to further Pakistan’s gender and development agenda.

INGAD has been conducting gender equality advocacy work in Pakistan since 1985 and is comprised of 34 member agencies from bilateral donors, development banks and UN agencies. INGAD’s mission is to share information and analysis, coordinate and collaborate on policy and programme issues, and actively network with stakeholders in advocacy and implementation efforts. INGAD has provided gender equality-related inputs to the government's development plans and has been instrumental in the endorsement of a UN statement on gender in Pakistan by Heads of UN Agencies in Pakistan.

ADB will chair the INGAD in the next six months and will provide technical and financial support for the forum.  ADB will facilitate information sharing and coordination for INGAD under RETA 7563: Promoting Gender Inclusive Growth in Central and West Asian Developing Member Countries (DMCs).

26 March 2014

Progress of women's rights in Islam

At a panel in celebration of annual Gender Month at ADB and International Women's Day 2014, Ratna Osman, Executive Director of Sisters in Islam (SIS), Malaysia, discussed gender equality within Islam and the challenges of advancing gender equality within religion. She emphasized that the core of Islamic faith, based on the Quran, embraces principles of gender equality - it is the human misinterpretation of the Quran  on polygamy, patriarchy, 'wali' (guardianship), among others, that led to gender-biased religious and legislative practices. She also spoke about the landmark Malaysian court cases seeking justice for women and what the SIS has been doing in support of gender justice. Osman stressed that reform is not only possible but necessary to truly espouse the teachings in the Quran and apply them in the present time.

Discussant, Office of the General Counsel's Irum Ahsan supplemented the presentation by discussing common misinterpretations about the 'hijab', inheritance rights and evidentiary rules. She encouraged the reading of the Quran in a progressive context.

Moderator, Asel Djusupbekova of the Office of the General Counsel, opened and facilitated the panel.

24 March 2014

Encouraging vocational training for girls in Central and West Asia

The ADB project "Promoting Gender Inclusive Growth in Central and West Asian Developing Member Countries" launched a video in the Kyrgyz Republic that is aimed at destigmatizing young women who opt to train for technical or skilled occupations.

The video shows how young Kyrgyz women gain more confidence and improve their lives when they go into skilled labor.

The heart of the problem lies with parents who push their girls into a university education, believing it to be better than technical and vocational education and training. However, since most Kyrgyz girls enrol in health and education in university, competition is fierce for the relatively few jobs available.

With many young male tradespeople migrating from the Kyrgyz Republic to other countries in the region, on the other hand, there are real opportunities at home for female plumbers, mechanics, electricians and skilled workers in other trades. Targeted at parents, this video is part of a set of media products that aim to challenge stereotypes and encourage girls to enrol in technical and vocational education and training courses.

Watch the video: Destigmatizing Technical & Vocational Education for Girls in the Kyrgyz Republic.