Directorate of Gender Affairs was pleased to lead the Ministry of Public Works Project Management Unit in a gender sensitization and training exercise held on June 16, 2017. The training came as the Ministry of Public Works embarks on a multi-million dollar Road Infrastructural Rehabilitation and Institutional Capacity Building project funded by the United Kingdom Caribbean Infrastructure Partnership Fund (UKCIF) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
The training, facilitated by DoGA Acting Executive Director, Farmala Jacobs, and Research Officer, Sarah-Anne Gresham, aimed to bring together staff of the Ministry of Public Works to discuss issues in gender and road infrastructure programs with a view to ultimately equip the staff with an understanding of gender issues in infrastructure sectors.
The training was also meant to address any internalized socio-cultural ideologies about women and men that could interfere with implementing the project’s gender-responsive policies.
Capacity building for the project management team at the Ministry of Public Works and agencies like it is a major element of the Directorate of Gender Affairs gender mainstreaming strategy. Mainstreaming a gender perspective into infrastructure policies and projects is critical to ensure that women and men equally benefit from and contribute to infrastructure investments and services. It also functions as a means for promoting women’s economic empowerment and increasing their access to social services thereby strengthening the economy.
Project Coordinator of the Road Rehabilitation Project, Dennis Cudjoe called the experience enlightening.
“It was indeed a thought-provoking experience for me and the other participants as well. I think we were all taken aback by the stereotypes highlighted that we take for granted in everyday life.”
Community Liaison Officer, Anne Harewood-George echoed his sentiments. She said, “The content in the training was balanced, informative, and very provocative and it triggered great discussions in our team after it was over.”
The workshop was the first in a series of capacity-building exercises that will come on stream during the course of the project.