Women's travel and participation in regional transport systems
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.
- Although men make longer trips, women make more frequent, shorter and more complex trips , with many cities reporting over 50% of public transport trips being made by women;
- Women prefer trains, buses, taxis and walking or cycling, over private vehicles (Ng, W. and A. Acker. (2018) Understanding Urban Travel Behaviour by Gender for Efficient and Equitable Transport Policies, International Transport Forum Discussion Paper No. 2018-01) https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/urban-travel-behaviour-gender.pdf
- In Europe, the transport workforce is 22% female despite women accounting for 46% of the total workforce (https://www.governmenteuropa.eu/women-in-transport-eu-platform-change/85971/)
- 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?
- Women’s Safety and Security: A Public Transport Priority https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/womens-safety-security_0.pdf
- Understanding Urban Travel Behaviour by Gender for Efficient and Equitable Transport Policies https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/urban-travel-behaviour-gender.pdf
- Gender and Transport https://www.itf-oecd.org/sites/default/files/docs/dp201111.pdf
- Women’s Issues in Transportation: Bridging the Gap https://wiit-paris2014.sciencesconf.org/conference/wiit-paris2014/pages/Proceedings_The_5th_International_Conference_on_WIiT.pdf
- Research on Women's Issues in Transportation, Volume 1: Conference Overview and Plenary Papers https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23274/research-on-womens-issues-in-transportation-volume-1-conference-overview-and-plenary-papers
- Gender Equality and Mobility: Mind the Gap! Civitas Policy Note https://civitas.eu/sites/default/files/civ_pol-an2_m_web.pdf
Professor & Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues
The University of Western Ontario