African Network for Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN) -3
Women installing solar systems in Kenya
The African Network of Women in Infrastructure (ANWIN) is a high-level strategic engagement platform initiated by the African Union. Launched at PIDA Week in Cairo in 2019, ANWIN is hosted by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission. ANWIN aims to connect and support individuals, civil society, the private sector, and governmental organizations with an interest in gender-responsive infrastructure development. ANWIN’s objective is to generate commitment and action by these actors for more equitable participation of women in the infrastructure sector in Africa.
Gender-responsiveness is a key prerequisite for realizing the African Union’s vision for integrated, reliable and affordable transport, water, energy and information & communications infrastructure.
There exist numerous barriers preventing women from meaningfully participating in the infrastructure sector. This is best exemplified by the few key infrastructure leadership positions – including in relevant government ministries – currently held by women. To achieve the economic and human development goals set out in Agenda 2063, women must gain access to equal opportunities within the sector.
Obstacles for women exist on both the demand and the supply side:
Supply Side: The lack of access to financial, social, and human capital is a deterrent to women set on launching and growing their businesses. The absence of gender-responsive procurement policies, or resistance to their implementation, makes it difficult for women-owned businesses to win tenders.
Demand Side: Due to societally-imposed gender roles, inadequate infrastructure is a major contributor toward poverty, poor health and lack of safety experienced by African women who hold a disproportionate responsibility to fetch water and cooking fuels, particularly in rural areas. Traditional biomass cooking results in respiratory illnesses; whereas lack of electrification and inadequacy of transport cause insecurity and limit women’s access to vital services like healthcare. Unavailability or unreliability of communication services exacerbates women’s exclusion.
Increasing women’s participation in infrastructure development has the potential for transformational and sustainable growth in Africa. For this purpose, ANWIN works to close the gender gap in infrastructure through the following areas of engagement:
- High-level political steering, advocacy, and communications in support of women’s participation in infrastructure.
- Technical support and advisory services to PIDA and other projects to enhance gender-responsiveness throughout the infrastructure development cycle.
- Knowledge & experience exchange and capacity-building on gender-responsive policies and practices.
GET IN TOUCH
To inquire about ANWIN, receive its newsletter and get involved in its activities, email ANWIN@africa-union.org, contact the ANWIN Secretariat, Department of Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission, P.O. Box 3243, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia or visit https://www.au-pida.org/african-network-for-women-in-infrastructure-anwin/
Photographer: Thomas Imo/photothek.de