(CPV) - Transport sector officials from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam, along with development partners and staff from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), meet today to discuss promoting gender equality through effective design and implementation of transport projects.
The three-day Mekong Gender and Transport Workshop, jointly organized by ADB and AusAID on 24-26 July at the Ha Noi Hilton Hotel, aims to raise awareness about how transport projects can empower women by expanding access to services, income and employment opportunities, and social interaction.
“Too often transport projects are assumed to be gender neutral. Proactive steps need to be taken to ensure that projects respond to women’s different mobility needs as transport users, and their priorities must be heard in transport sector planning and policy,” said Andrew Head, ADB Deputy Country Director for Viet Nam.
About 60 participants from across the Mekong sub-region will participate in this workshop. They will exchange practical knowledge on how gender has been successfully addressed in projects, share experiences of ensuring transport systems are inclusive and accessible for all people, and discuss gender issues in different modes of transport and how to overcome challenges.
“From the way land acquisition is undertaken through to the changes in economic activity – loss of livelihoods and new livelihood opportunities - that result from transport projects, the interests of women must be front and center if negative impacts on communities are to be minimized and new opportunities maximized,” said Michael Wilson, AusAID’s Mekong and Regional Minister-Counsellor.
ADB’s long-term strategic framework, Strategy 2020, places gender equity as one of five drivers of change to achieve an Asia and Pacific region free of poverty. Promoting gender equality is a critical cross-cutting objective for the Australian aid program. Empowering women to participate in the economy, leadership, and education mobilises the critical untapped potential of women in the development process. Support for transport sector development is an important priority for both ADB and AusAID in the Mekong sub-region./.