Women's travel and participation in regional transport systems

Fishbowl session


22 May


11:00 to 12:30


Hall 3, Level +1

Travel patterns of women differ from those of men in developed and developing countries alike, and in both rural and urban areas. These differences are evident in modal choice, time of travel, trip purpose, routes, trip chains, and travel distance. These distinctions stem from systemic differences in access to resources, household responsibilities, travel preferences, safety concerns, and social norms surrounding mobility for women. As a result, women experience unique time and resource constraints with respect to their travel activities. They also face safety and security issues that are more acute and pervasive than for men. Socio-economic gender disparities tend to be self-reinforcing, as mobility itself provides access to sources of income, education, healthcare, and other opportunities. A better understanding of women’s travel patterns can inform transport planning and policies which enhance connectivity for women and help them reap the social and economic benefits associated with it. This session will examine gender-specific aspects of mobility.

Key facts:



Lead questions:


  • What economic and social benefits will improved mobility for women bring?
  • What actions should be prioritised to improve the mobility needs of women in developed countries?
  • What actions should be prioritised to enhance mobility for women in less developed economies?


Background reading:


Bipasha Baruah

Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues

The University of Western Ontario

Karla Gonzalez Carvajal

Transport Practice Manager for South Asia

The World Bank

Juliette Foster

Moderator, Broadcaster, Journalist and Businesswoman

Chiara Corazza

Managing Director

Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society