Gender Issues in Transportation: A Short Introduction

Presentation notes for the UNEP Regional Workshop “Deals on Wheels: Sustainable Transportation Initiatives in Developing Countries”, San Salvador, July 28-30, 1999.

Seventy percent of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty worldwide are women, according to the UN 1995 Human Development Report. Transport-related issues such as access to jobs, markets and social/educational facilities play an important, but underappreciated role in perpetuating women’s disadvantaged position in society. While there have been an increasing number of efforts to incorporate gender perspectives especially into the health, education and agricultural sectors, much fewer attempts have been made in the transport sector.

Major differences in the basic mobility needs of women and men are grounded in the gender-based division of labor within the family and community, and existing transport systems are not adequately geared towards the needs of women. The following will give a more detailed overview of the differences of male and female travel patterns.

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