Women and girls’ mobility is critical on many levels. Without access to effective transport women cannot access the food and healthcare they need for household survival. They cannot get to work or run businesses, and their vital contribution to economies is stifled.
Yet transport is not inclusive for women and girls, particularly in low-income countries, and the COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted and grown existing inequalities.
The underrepresentation of women in the transport sector exacerbates the issues and leads to development that fails to capture the opinions and needs of women and girls.
Our research explores the policies, strategies and tools needed to enhance women’s inclusion in public transport in low-income countries (LICs).
Knowledge gained is shared, with the aim of making women’s voices heard in transport planning and decision-making, through publication of projects such as:
- The Empower SHE CAN tool, designed to enable transport providers to identify and tackle sexual harassment on public transport;
- Alert Engineering’s study of gender inclusivity on public transport in Ethiopian cities;
- Cardno Emerging Markets’ investigation into the role of transport in human trafficking and the forced sexual exploitation of women and girls;
- Gail Jennings’ in-depth look at the impacts of COVID-19, and the response to it, on Sub Saharan African women’s mobility, in terms of health (mental and physical), job-losses and gender-based-violence; and
- Sonal Shah’s examination of the effects of the pandemic on low-income women’s mobility with a view to informing policy guidance and addressing gender equity on public transport in South Asia.
Making transport policy more responsive to the needs and priorities of women and girls is central to its aim of building a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive future for everyone.