One of the many resolutions of 2020 Stockholm Declaration and reiterating the strong commitment to achieving global goals by 2030 connects the gender equality and road safety:
Address the connections between road safety, mental and physical health, development, education, equity, gender equality, sustainable cities, environment, and climate change, as well as the social determinants of safety and the interdependence between the different SDGs, recalling that the SDGs and targets are integrated and indivisible.
Despite being most transport users, women’s needs are hardly considered at all in transport planning, yet the stakes are high if their ridership declines. Women, especially those that juggle care and work roles, are very time-poor. Thus, the proximity, affordability, availability, and security of transport has a high impact on their quality of life.
Our current transport system is not gender-neutral. It’s heavily dominated within the transport industry by men. But the problem for transport is, if people who are designing our mobility systems are not experiencing the problems that can come from them being poorly lit, badly connected, infrequent, the way that women are, then those issues potentially don’t get addressed.
Women’s safety in public transport is a crucial part of sustainable mobility. If women feel unsafe and insecure when they use public transport, and they are the majority users of those services, then they will simply stop. As the gender role of women as caregivers persists, the continuous fear that many women experience in their daily travels can be transferred to their children, which may influence how younger generations view public transport when they become adults.
As cities struggle with transport challenges such as congestion, improving or at least retaining public transport ridership, and aspire to become inclusive, women seem to hold the key to them achieving much of this if they are willing to engage and understand their needs better. These results are highly significant as they indicate serious potentially worsening barriers to meeting sustainable transport and social equity goals if the issue of personal security is not addressed in a timely and effective fashion by cities and transport operators.
Roads are designed to prioritise cars and speed over the needs of other road users. But it’s no accident that countries with the safest roads are also the most equitable. For International Women’s Day, our associated strategic partner iRAP celebrated the significant role female leadership in transport is making to delivering safer roads and transport systems around the world. For more information, see the video below.
How does #InternationalWomenDay connect to RADAR project?
Making transport policy responsive to the equality between men and women requires women to be represented at each step of the transport investment planning and design process. Government agencies and NGOs, community-based organisations and women’s groups which could assist in planning and implementation will be identified and consulted in the project. RADAR project will significantly encourage women professionals, their participation in trainings, RSEG and in implementation of Pilot Studies. RADAR recognises the role of gender in road injury likelihood as well as it recognises the frailty of older road users and that there are substantially more women than men in the highest age groups.
- FIA FOUNDATION - A Study on Women’s Personal Security and Public Transport in Three Latin American Cities