Mainstreaming gender in waste management projects

The EBRD is integrating gender related considerations in an investment project to construct a new sanitary landfill in Georgia

The EBRD Gender Action Plan

The EBRD’s Gender Action Plan, launched in 2010, aims to promote equality of opportunity and women’s empowerment within Bank investments and technical co-operation projects. The Bank has selected several projects to pilot the mainstreaming of gender in the municipal and environmental infrastructure sector.

Women's roles in the Solid Waste Management Project

One example is the Solid Waste Management Project for the Autonomous Republic of Adjara in Georgia. The investment programme will comprise the construction of a new sanitary landfill, construction of a gas extraction system and the closure of two existing unsanitary landfills. There are gender differences with respect to both the management of, and attitudes towards, waste management. Women and men play different roles in the management of household waste, recycling and the education of children in environmental protection. There is also a greater willingness by women to pay for improved services. In terms of the providers of services, employment opportunities tend to be different for women and men, with women occupying lower grade positions than men.

Stakeholders consultation and gender analysis

The pilot, funded with the support of the EBRD’s Shareholders Special Fund, consulted with a broad range of stakeholders, analysed gender issues related to the project and developed a plan for mainstreaming them. Although construction has not yet commenced, Gender Action Plans have been prepared to support the implementation of the project (including engineering services and contract supervision) as well as for corporate development (human resources management, stakeholder engagement, and so on).

Specific recommendations to integrate gender into the project include measures to ensure that any information campaign for behavioural change in waste management (for example, the reduction of waste and recycling) should target women and that the company managing the landfill implements an equal opportunities policy for men and women in the work place. Importantly, the pilot project has developed tools and checklists that the EBRD can adopt and adapt for future solid waste projects.