Time: October 28, 2021, 6-7:15 p.m. (GMT+8)

Gender & Infrastructure in the Post-Covid World

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are not gender-neutral, with the majority of frontline health and care workers being women and with quarantine restricting access of women to paid child care and to safe spaces for women threatened by domestic abuse. The experience from other crises in the 2000s shows that gender inequalities widen during periods of economic turmoil. While governments are rightly focused on short-term survival, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

Recent research by AIIB argues that once the immediate task of containing COVID-19 has been achieved, the focus will need to shift from crisis management to assist developing economies invest in adequate infrastructure for development, so as to prevent and mitigate the impact of future outbreaks. This work shows that a country’s readiness to cope with epidemics is correlated with the quality of its infrastructure, and that infrastructure development is a key to security and epidemic preparedness. Furthermore, for countries with higher gender equality, investments in infrastructure may have a greater impact on improving health security.

This panel highlighted the linkages between gender-sensitive infrastructure, health security and how this can support a more equal recovery post-pandemic.


  • Erik Berglof, Chief Economist, AIIB
  • Michaela Bergman, Principal Social Development Specialist, AIIB
  • Samantha Hung, Chief of Gender Equality, Asian Development Bank
  • Elena Nikolova, Associate Professor, Zayed University X Minerva
  • Yana Rodgers, Professor, Rutgers University
  • Wencai Zhang, Executive Vice President, Agricultural Development Bank of China
  • Weimin Zhou, Investment Operations Specialist – Transport, Infrastructure Investment Department (Region 1), AIIB