Gender Mainstreaming in Transportation: Impact of Management Control

Citation:

Wittbom, Eva. 2011. “Gender Mainstreaming in Transportation: Impact of Management Control.” In Women’s Issues in Transportation: Summary of the 4th International Conference, Vol. 2: Technical Papers, 264-75. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board of the National Academies.

Author: Eva Wittbom

Abstract:

In international surveys, Sweden is considered to be the locus classicus for gender mainstreaming. At a macro level, the picture is clear, as government directives include specific goals for gender equality and the expectation that public agencies will mainstream gender into their core business. At a micro level, the situation is more complex. Formal governance meets with gendered norms and cultures that are equally strong, but informal, driving forces among civil servants. The question raised here is how the management control system functions under the pressure of mainstreaming gender. With an interpretive approach, research has been conducted to disclose constructions that tend to enable or to hamper gender equality in the practice of management control at a micro level. The evidence stems from a case study of the Swedish Road Administration and the Swedish National Rail Administration. Interviews, observations of meetings, and close reading of documents furnish this paper with data covering the years 2002–2007 with regard to a policy goal of a gender-equal transport system. Applying a gender perspective together with a sociological institutional perspective makes gendered rules, norms, and culture visible. The results show how management control is involved in integration of gender by assimilation and by decoupling, obstructing transformative gender mainstreaming. The administration is busy keeping up the appearance of fulfilling the goal, legitimizing its activities by reporting relative fulfillment in accordance with the rules of the control system, regardless of the relevance connected to the norms of gender equality. The management control system perpetuates a culture in which reliability lies in measurability; therefore, the goal of gender equality results in a quantitative perspective on women and men instead of a qualitative gender perspective on the transport system.

Topics: Gender, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2011

© 2019 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.