Employment Seminar Series

Gender Equality, Decent Work and Infrastructure

The seminar explored the experiences of the ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programmes in designing and implementing measures to ensure gender-responsiveness and discussed what works for promoting gender equality in and through infrastructure works.


Presenters: Maria Teresa Gutierrez, JCPI / DEVINVEST; Eva Majurin, CSRP / DEVINVEST.
Discussants: Adrienne Cruz, GED / WORKQUALITY; Valeria Esquivel, CEPOL / EMPLAB.
Chair: Sangheon Lee, Director, Employment.

Women’s presence in infrastructure works programmes is limited, due to both generic gender inequalities as well as factors that are specific to the infrastructure sector, such as concerns about safety or stereotypical perceptions of construction as “men’s work.” For women who do work in the sector, decent work deficits can at times overshadow the promise of the sector.

However, when designed with women and men’s needs in mind, infrastructure works can be a powerful vehicle of employment generation, inclusive development, and women’s empowerment. Infrastructure works can provide decent work for women, and the output of such works – i.e. the infrastructures themselves – can advance women’s empowerment, for instance by improving transport to and from workplaces, facilitating access to productive inputs, or helping to reduce women’s unpaid household responsibilities.

The Employment Policy Department Seminar on “Gender Equality, Decent Work & Infrastructure” explored the experiences of ILO’s Employment Intensive Investment Programmes in designing and implementing measures to ensure gender-responsiveness, and discuss what works for promoting gender equality in and through infrastructure works.

Maria Teresa Gutierrez is Technical Specialist on Employment Intensive Investment at the Employment Policy Department in Geneva and Gender Specialist on Public Works.
Eva Majurin works as Specialist on Employment and Decent Work (Conflict and Disaster) in the ILO’s Coordination Support for Peace and Resilience (CSPR) unit in Geneva.
Adrienne Cruz is a senior gender specialist with the Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch at the International Labour Office based in Geneva.
Valeria Esquivel is Employment Policies and Gender Specialist at the International Labour Office (ILO), based in Geneva, Switzerland.