5th International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation - Bridging the Gap
14-16 Apr 2014 Paris - La Défense (France)

Themes and topics > Transport policy, transport patterns and mobility - Pillar 1

Transport Policy refers to the gender impact of transport policies and regulatory frameworks, as they frame research activities, sector investment and service delivery. They concern all national, state, regional and local levels. The knowledge and understanding of women and men transport patterns and mobility are a corner stone of policy research and development, since policies seek to be gender sensitive, equally serving women and men, in an evidence-based way. Policies need to provide an enabling environment for a fair share of the mobility benefit to women and men, for safe, secure, accessible, reliable and sustainable mobility for women and men, and for appropriate participation of women in the transport sector. Policies benefit from international sharing of experiences, and from learning of good practices of gender sensitive policies and corresponding travel and mobility patterns in rich and poor countries. Women’s social circumstances vary widely across countries, especially between high income OECD countries, transition economies, middle and lower middle income countries, low income countries and fragile and failed states. Women’s circumstances also vary within countries not only between urban and rural areas, and among wealthier and poorer segments, but as they relate to a spectrum of dimensions such as finances, activities, localization, mobility patterns, governance, participation or special needs. Appropriate knowledge, monitoring and evaluation, incentives, regulations, and remedies are core elements of transport policies that equally address women’s and men’s issues in transportation.

Because transport policies need to be evidence based, the connections between research and policy need to be clear. To facilitate the link between research and policy, researchers should, where possible, make clear the policy implications of their findings. Transport policies need to actively set the environment for an evidence based and explicit fair access to reliable, affordable, safe and sustainable mobility equally to women and men. They also need to ensure balanced participation of women to the transport sector activities and wealth creation. Policies and regulations need to be responsive to the different women and men’s social circumstances - revenues, activities, localization, mobility patterns and special needs.

Addressing the different women and men’s Issues in transport policy includes bridging the gap in

(1) Gender based upstream knowledge, especially as travel patterns and travel behaviors remain dramatically under researched in non OECD countries. This includes the development of appropriate knowledge: the appropriate databases and monitoring of services and participation by gender that permits the description of gender-differentiated mobility patterns, changes in demographics and mobility behavior;

(2) Monitoring and evidence based evaluation of the transport sector responsiveness to women and men’s needs. This concerns : the monitoring and evaluation of the fair participation of women in transportation activities and benefits, and the monitoring and evaluation of the responsiveness of the transport system to women’s mobility needs, demands and issues;

(3) Incentives, regulations and remedies to ensure effective retrofitting to improve gender responsive transport services and fair participation of women and men to the sector activity and wealth; and,

(4) Sharing experiences, and learning from the good practices across countries and especially between high income OECD countries, transition economies, middle and lower middle income countries, low income countries, and fragile and failed states. The variety of transportation technologies, management structures, planning choices, governance and participation features, provide a wealth of untapped wisdom in the pursuit of transportation policies developed with equal participation and governance from women and men and serving effectively and equally women and men.

The fourth WIiT conference (see Vol.1 Proceedings), identified research needs including: the need for deeper understanding of  women’s mobility as it relates to the specific roles played by women in society and within households; improved understanding of aspects of women’s travel behavior, including their modal choices, their use of new technologies, their safety and security while traveling, and their valuing of time;  the definition and characteristics of gender-neutral transportation systems; and the need to move away from considering  male behavior as the norm in transportation research and planning.  More generally, a major area of continued weakness has been identified as the poor translation of knowledge and research into policy, exemplified in the US by the “disconnect” between research on women’s travel and existing US transport policies. Finally, the pursuit of “transportation justice” poses complex issues in developing countries, where spatial disadvantages, rapid urbanization and the expansion of modern infrastructure raises the difficult question: ”fairness for whom”? These research gaps prompt the call for more international research, for combining quantitative and qualitative approaches, for working with people from other sectors to incorporate gender and special populations into the socio-demographics of travel demand and analysis.

(1) Bridging the gap in gender based knowledge of transport needs, travel patterns, and mobility characteristics

- Are data, knowledge and research appropriate to evaluate gender differentiated mobility patterns, changes in demographics and mobility behavior, and the specific roles played by women and men in society?

- Are travel/mobility for women and men converging is the direction of this convergence desirable from the perspective of fair and efficient access to mobility?

- What particular social, economic, geographical and psychological factors need to be considered to understand gender issues in transportation? Do transport policies adequately address gender differences by ages and socio-cultural backgrounds in active travel modes? How do these factors play in non OECD countries, and with respect to urbanization and technology changes?

(2) Bridging the gap in gender based monitoring and evaluation of the transport sector responsiveness & reliability to mobility needs / demand / patterns of women and men

- Are the needs of women and men being met by transportation policies? Is the decision-making process of transportation policies affected by gender bias? How might a shift to more gender sensitive transportation policies affect women and men?

 - Are transport policies and systems monitored and evaluated to measure their responsiveness to women’s and men’s mobility needs demands and issues; for example, can monitoring effectively assess gender differences across generations, among older men and women drivers, or across transportation modes?

 - Are men and women differently responsive to transport policies?

 - Are transportation policies and systems gender-neutral? Are they breaking the male norm in transportation research and planning? Are they responsive for example to gender differences in vulnerability in crashes, including pregnancy and the fetus/child, to attitude towards technology, to choices with regards to time value?

 - Are transportation indicators gender-neutral? Do they affect the responsiveness of transportation policies to women’s and men’s needs?

- Are the value placed by women and men on time, modal choices, new technologies and safety taken into account in transport policies and transport systems? Are transport policies responsive to the difference of relationship to transportation of women and men, or to the gender differences in attitudes, beliefs, behaviors and needs related to transportation, risk-taking behaviors and compliance to legal rules?

(3) Bridging the gap in incentives, regulations and remedies to ensure the responsiveness of the transport sector to women – and men’s specific mobility needs and effective sector  participation

- Are transport policy incentives, regulations and remedies effectively ensuring adequate and fair access to transport services and mobility by women and men?

- How do policies promote gender specific ergonomics in relation to transport equipment and vehicle design? in relations to urban design and standards? in relation to staffing of transport systems, transport facilities and vehicles?

- Is the equal participation of women and men to transport sector activities and to the wealth creation benefits of the sector known, monitored and corrected for fairness? This includes in particular the level of policy decision, of regulation development, of system design and governance, of equipment specification, design and procurement, of service delivery, of M&E. Are women and men equally participating to the wealth creation (ownership of business, employment,…) in the transportation sector, and to the design and governance of the transport systems?

- What are the causes and remedies for the poor traction of knowledge and research on policy making, also called “disconnect” between women and men’s travel and US transport policies, and in the transport policies of other countries / communities?

(4) Bridging the Gap between developing and developed countries gender equalities in transportation policies and participation.

- What does the pursuit of “transportation justice” means in developing countries, where spatial disadvantages, rapid urbanization and the expansion of modern infrastructure set a complex situation?  Gender responsive and sustainable transport means fairness for whom?

- What are the socio demographics of travel demand and analysis in and between high income OECD countries, transition economies, middle and lower middle income countries, low income countries, and fragile and failed states?

- How can international research combine quantitative and qualitative approaches to mainstream gender and special population considerations into the agenda of transport policy as an instrument for gender sensitive, fair, safe and sustainable development?

- What are the transport policies best practices for addressing gender differences in access, affordability safety, health, and security of transportation? What best practices help alleviate women’s fear of many transportation environments and vehicles? How can gender equality in training policy-makers and planners be promoted and what impact does it have on policy sensitivity to gender issues?

 - How can gender awareness training for all be promoted in all areas and at all levels of transportation sector?

 - Is there a gap between high income OECD countries, transition economies, middle and lower middle income countries, low income countries, and fragile and failed states, concerning gender equalities in transportation policies? Do the same gender differences exist across countries and regions? Are there cultural, economic, geographical, local, social effects on gender mobility? Do evidence based access, affordability, safety and sustainability measures in transport across countries take into account gender issues?

- How can gender mainstreaming success be mainstreamed, scaled and replicated across countries? What lessons about gender equality can be transferred from a country or community to another, and how?

 - What are the mobility challenges in countries at various stages of development and wealth creation and how can women and men in transportation, and gender equalities be integrated in the R&D agenda?

 - What are the lessons of recent developments in promoting gender equality in access, affordability, safety security, and sustainability of transportation in low and medium income countries?

 - What developments and progress in other fields such as governance and democracy, health, safety may be used in support of the WIiT agenda?

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