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Gender-related perspectives and attitudes towards transport issues

Edited on

14 October 2020
Read time: 10 minutes

“When we talk about women in transportation we are not talking about a specific group of vulnerable users, we are talking about half of the world’s population”, says transport planner and policy analyst Stefano Borgato at Trasporti e Territorio, introducing the topic of gender and mobility.

Gender equality in transports

Half of the world’s population. A recurring reason and argument for working for equality. Still, mobility reflects inequality between men and women, and therefore we need to ask: how can we, by revealing the vulnerability that mobility systems force upon women today, counteract this inequality? And what would it mean for the future of mobility?

Generally, women and men experience transport in different ways. Including different use of different modes for different purposes. Furthermore, they also have varying preferences and constraints regarding mobility, leading to different challenges that are faced every day, creating unequal amounts of experienced vulnerability. The challenges faced by women specifically is, according to Stefano Borgato; affordability in transport and improvement in less expensive modes, barriers preventing access to public transport (an example being travelling with strollers), lack of flexible services such as time tables not being fit for outside rush hour travel as well as safety of the journey. In other words, women’s modal choice depends not only on conventional parameters such as time, cost and comfort, but also on the conditions of safety. In addition, considering the already existing employment and wage gap between men and women, affordability is especially relevant.

It is fundamental to properly address these challenges, as transportation access plays a crucial role in empowerment, access to opportunities, social life and independence. In addition, women are the majority of public transport users, which means that a gender approach to mobility could preserve present, but also future, public transport demand by increasing the quality of public transport to facilitate a change towards a more sustainable way to travel for everyone. This means, in Stefano’s own words, “Better transport for women is equal with better transport for all”

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