“1.1. Why This Toolkit? Development projects, especially large-scale infrastructure ones, often involve land acqui sition and both physical displacement (relocation, loss of residential land or loss of shel ter) and economic displacement (loss of land, assets, or access to assets, leading to loss of income sources or other means of livelihood).1 The impacts of development-induced reset tlement can disproportionately affect women, as they are faced with more difficulties than men while coping with disruption to their families. And this is particularly the case if there is no mechanism to enable women’s meaningful participation and consultation throughout the project cycle in general, and the resettlement process in particular. The World Bank funded an assessment of the social readiness2
of resettlement programs in Vietnam. This revealed prejudice among community members regarding the capacity and quality of women’s participation. In consultation meetings, women are often passive participants or not present at all. It seems that traditional assumptions about household divisions of labor prevent women from participating meaningfully. For example, men are considered better suited to attend resettlement-related meetings since is assumed that men can better understand and access land market information. These biases have constrained women’s participation in resettlement-related decisions, for example, in the design of compensation and restoration packages or new relocation sites, housing, and construction timelines, with potential negative implications for the overall success of resettlement programs. Further more, a resettlement process that ignores the specific needs and limitations that women face can increase gender inequalities, for example, by reducing women’s access to property or assets, or limiting their capacity to restore their livelihoods. The good news is that gender-informed resettlement is possible. It can minimize the pain experienced by people moving from their homes and can help smooth the project resettle ment process. This toolkit intends to help those responsible for managing and implementing the resettlement process to integrate gender dimensions throughout the project cycle by undertaking (i) initial gender impact screening and assessments; (ii) the development of cor responding mitigation plans (for example, through resettlement action plans); and, finally, (iii) implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. 1.2. For Whom Is This Toolkit Intended? This toolkit aims to support the work of those involved in the design, preparation, and
implementation of the resettlement process. This guide can be used by national and local counterparts, government agencies, international and private sector partners, and individual experts.