By Maja Roginska and Moa Westman
Transport alone can’t solve gender equality issues, but improving women’s mobility can enable them to seize economic opportunities, boost economic development and build more equal and more resilient societies.
Women and girls spend 12.5 billion hours on unpaid care duties every day, worth $10.8 trillion a year, according to Oxfam. We could move a lot closer to gender equality by reducing the amount of unpaid work women do and strengthening women’s participation in the labour market. A whopping $28 trillion could be added to the global economy by 2025 if women and men played similar roles in labor markets. In the European Union, an estimated 10.5 million jobs could be created by 2050 from improvements in gender equality.
Here’s how to do it.
Different travel patterns
Women across the world spend more time traveling than men – up to four times more – even though men travel greater distances. Women tend to use slower modes of transport and have more stops on their journey. Poor infrastructure also complicates their journey. In rural areas, for example, women and their families spend considerable time waiting for transport to travel to health facilities. Poor roads, too few vehicles and high transport costs impede women’s access to emergency obstetric and postnatal care, which has a major impact on their health. But it’s not just in the developing world. Inequalities impede women’s access to transport in the European Union as well.
Women typically have more complex mobility patterns. Men tend to have triangular mobility patterns – home, work, activity – while women’s travel spiders out in different directions. Women, or any caregiver, make shorter, more frequent trips dispersed throughout the day. In London, for instance, women are 80% more likely than men to make stops on their journey to and from work. Women also tend to travel more during off-peak hours.