Gender and Rural Transport


Fernando, Priyanthi. 1998. “Gender and Rural Transport.” International Forum for Rural Transport and Development, Gender Technology and Development, 63–80.

Author: Priyanthi Fernando


Rural transport issues have only recently received the attention of transport planners and technologists. This paper draws on existing literature and the author's own ex perience with Intermediate Technology programs to illustrate the gender inequalities in the distribution of the transport burden among women and men in rural house holds, and in the provision and use of transport technologies. Typically, women spend more time and energy than men on transport tasks and have less access to the means of transport, to infrastructure and to transport services that can help reduce this effort. This depicts a considerable waste of human energy on what is, essentially, low productive activity. The author argues that the non-economic nature of women's transport tasks and the low participation of women in the decision-making processes that prioritize and design interventions have constrained the implementation of more appropriate transport strategies. There are however new planning methodologies and a growing body of practical examples of innovative projects that can have (and have had) a positive impact on women. The paper argues not only for the integration of gender into transport strategies, but also for the inclusion of transport issues into strategies that seek to empower rural women. It concludes by identifying some key areas for future research and action.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Men, Infrastructure, Transportation

Year: 1998

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