2019 July 12 Friday

Gender Equality for Sustainable Infrastructure - Joint AIIB-Host Country Seminar (Open Event)

Salle D, ECCL


  • Identify where the gender equality gaps are with respect to the benefits of infrastructure, what gender-related data needs to be collected and how can this be done. 
  • Provide a greater understanding of how gender gaps in access to infrastructure could be measured. 
  • Outline what ways already exist for stakeholders to collaborate and improve gender equality-related monitoring and evaluation. 
  • Support AIIB in improving its Gender Framework Policy.



Infrastructure projects and policies are often considered as equally beneficial to women and men. This is frequently not the case, however. For instance, transport remains an area influenced by a set of gender inequalities, including weak representation of women in the decision-making process within the sector and gaps in access to transport infrastructure and services.


AIIB has begun initial work to develop its own approach to addressing gender equality. Mainstreaming gender into the provision of infrastructure means that both women and men should be consulted on their respective needs, enabling project designers to add adequate features during the design phase. Participation by women in the project’s management and ownership increases travel security, mobility, income, and school enrollment for children. In a second phase, monitoring and evaluation should then focus on how well the identified gaps were closed.


This event aims to provide a platform for a broad range of stakeholders to discuss issues around the gender equality gaps in infrastructure, exploring both how best to measure those gaps and what can be done during project design and implementation to close them.



Discussion Topics

  • What would be the biggest challenge in designing infrastructure so that it is as beneficial and accessible for men and women? 
  • How can infrastructure development generate more employment opportunities for women at all levels? 
  • What would be a good indicator to show success? 
  • What should/can a new institution such as the AIIB do to start the right way and learn from others? 



Md Shafiqul Islam Akand

Additional Chief Engineer, Local Government Engineering Department

Md Shafiqul Islam Akand, basically a civil engineer, graduated in 1987.He completed his MSc in Urban Planning from UK in 2002. He joined at Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) under Local Government ministry of Bangladesh. He was made Project Director of ADB assisted Second Urban Governance and Infrastructure Improvement Project (UGIIP2) in 2011. After successful completion of this project, he was appointed as project direcdtor of next UGIIP3 project. He was awarded as best project director by ADB Bangladesh office in 2011, 2013 and 2015. He was promoted as Superintending Engineer (Urban Management) in 2017 and as Additional Chief Engineer in 2019. He has long experince in working urban sector of Bangladesh.

Taina Bofferding

Minister, Ministry of Home Affairs, Minister of Equality between Women and Men, Luxembourg


Taina Bofferding was born on 22 November 1982 in Esch-sur-Alzette.


Following her secondary school education at the Lycée classique Hubert Clément in Esch-sur-Alzette, Taina Bofferding continued her studies at the Institut d'études éducatives et sociales (Institute for Educational and Social Sciences) where she obtained a diploma in 2005. She then studies sociology at the University of Trier where she graduated in social sciences in 2011.


Following the legislative elections of 14 October 2018, Taina Bofferding joined the government as Minister for Home Affairs and as Minister of Equality of between Women and Men on 5 December 2018 in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) and the Green Party (déi gréng).


Member of the LSAP since 2004, Taina Bofferding was elected to the Chamber of Deputies following the legislative elections of 2013. She was then a member of several committees including the Commitee on Institutions and Constitutional Review, the Committee on Culture, the Commitee on Higher Education, Research, Media, Communications and Space, the Commitee for Family and Integration, the Housing Commitee and the Committee on Labor, Employment and Social Security.


At local level, Taina Bofferding was municipal councillor in the city of Esch-sur-Alzette from 2011 to 2018 and president of the LSAP section of Esch-sur-Alzette from March 2018.

Maria Catalina Cabral

Undersecretary for Planning and PPP, Department of Public Works and Highways

Undersecretary Maria Catalina E. Cabral is a licensed Civil Engineer with 35 years of experience in public service. She is the first female rank and file employee who has reached the level of Undersecretary hierachy of officials in the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

As Undersecretary for Planning and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Service, she oversees the development of strategic and priority plans and programs of DPWH, including the implementation of PPP projects. She gained prominence here and abroad for representing the Philippines in several engagements concerning infrastructure programs and thrust.

She is also a registered APEC Engineer and ASEAN Engineer bestowed with an Honorary Fellow by the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organization. She is the 2017-2018 National President and the first female highest leader of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE), exemplifying the role of women in infrastructure.

Christopher Hurst

Director General, European Investment Bank

Christopher Hurst is Director General of the Projects Directorate of the European Investment Bank.  Composed of sector specialists, this directorate is responsible for project appraisal (including technical, economic, environmental and social issues) and the monitoring of project implementation, as well as for sector studies and policy.

Prior to the EIB, Mr Hurst held research and teaching positions at Oxford and London Universities, and worked in management consultancy in the US. He has a doctorate from Harvard University and a degree in engineering from Imperial College, London.

Eva Kail

Gender Planning Expert, City of Vienna


Eva Kail has worked for the City of Vienna since 1986. She is the Gender Planning expert in the Executive Group for Construction and Technology- Competence Center Overall Urban Planning, Smart City Strategy, Participation, Gender Planning since 2011. Before she was the first head of the women´s office and built  up the Coordination Office for Planning and Construction geared to the Requirement of Daily Life and the specific Needs of Women from 1998-2010. She coordinated about 60 Pilot projects in housing,mobility,public space, parks, playgrounds and urban design and is one of the leading administrative experts for Gender Planning in Europe.She has a degree in urban and reginal planning from the Technical University of Vienna.

Nato Kurshitashvili

Gender Specialist, World Bank


Nato Kurshitashvili is a Gender Specialist with the Transport Global Practice at the World Bank. Previously she worked as a Principal Gender Adviser at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Prior to that, she had been part of the Statistical Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe working in a project to develop gender statistics. Nato has over ten years of experience developing and managing projects across diverse sectors (with strengths in infrastructure sector). Nato is an author and a co-author of a number of academic and agency reports. Nato holds a MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK, and MA in Public Policy from the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.



Michaela Bergman

Principal Social Development Specialist, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank


Michaela S. Bergman is a social anthropologist with over 20 years’ work experience with multi-lateral, International Financial Institutions, bi-laterals and civil society in over 40 countries, including East and Central Europe, Central, East and South Asia and the Middle East. Until June 2017, Ms Bergman was Chief Counsellor for Social issues at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, providing support and advice on gender and social issues. She was also Director of Gender and developed the Bank’s First Strategy for the Promotion of Gender Equality. She chaired the Multi-Lateral Development Banks’ Working Group on Gender.


In September 2017, she joined the AIIB, as Principal Social Specialist  to support the development of the Social Practice specifically, as well as to provide support more generally in the development of AIIB’s approach to Environmental, Social and Gender issues.