Module 1: Why Gender and Transport?
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1.1. Transport Tasks

Women and men are engaged in three basic types of transport tasks. Their involvement and related needs for these tasks are shaped by their gender roles and responsibilities. The specific nature of these tasks varies by country,socio-economic and ethnic group, location, and other factors.
  • Livelihood-related (such as travel for agriculture, markets, business, labor).
  • Service-related (such as accessing health care, education, other services).
  • Household-related (such as carrying water, firewood, grain for processing) - an area largely "invisible" to transport planners and providers in the past.
World-wide, in rural and urban settings, many women and girls have primary responsibility for the "invisible," unpaid household-related transport tasks. Men predominate in the livelihood-related tasks that are part of the market economy
  • Women and girls generally have less access to and control of means of transport. As a result, women and girls in many countries spend hours daily walking and carrying loads such as water and firewood.

Examples of Women's Transport Burden in Africa

Gender disparities in transport responsibilities are particularly striking in rural Sub-Saharan Africa. Much of rural Africa walks and carries its burden, mainly on heads, shoulders and arms. And most of this burden falls on women and girls.

In many African countries, women and girls carry up to four times as much as men.

Source: Gender and Transport in Less Developed Countries. D. Peters. 2001. p. 8.

Although men have limited access to transport in Bamako, Mali, women's access is much more limited, as shown by the large area of blue on the chart below.

Source: Gender and Transport in Less Developed Countries. D. Peters 2001.p. 13..
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