Bangladesh: Rural Infrastructure Improvement Project II (RIIP-II) - 2010

Infrastructure initiatives offer a range of important opportunities to support women’s empowerment—this can include more appropriate infrastructure design (e.g., providing separate toilets in market areas, meeting rooms for women in the local government complex); new employment opportunities (e.g., in construction and maintenance); and a greater role in ongoing infrastructure management (e.g., through participation in local government committees responsible for planning and maintenance).Even when gender stereotypes about appropriate roles and rewards for women seem strong, this should not be seen as a constraint to project initiatives for women—in fact, projects that provide benefits to a community (in relation to employment opportunities and new services, for example) are good mechanisms to challenge stereotypes as project resources and opportunities can provide incentives and rewards for changes in behavior.

Project innovations undertaken in the context of a supportive relationship between ADB and a partner government executing agency can result in mutual learning, further innovation, and the institutionalization of new practices within the executing agency, thus multiplying the impact of the investment.

*This case study is part of an ADB publication titled Gender Equality Results Case Studies: Bangladesh that contain case studies that provide an overview of gender issues in selected sectors.