Is Smart Mobility Also Gender-Smart?


Singh, Yamini, J. 2019. “Is Smart Mobility Also Gender-Smart?" Journal of Gender Studies: doi: 10.1080/09589236.2019.1650728

Author: Yamini J. Singh


In the world of shared economy, the mobility sector is one of the fastest-growing segments and includes app-based services to use shared cars, bikes, parking, shuttles and more. Its sudden growth is due to the popularity of smart-phones and companies that provide mobility on demand. Reportedly, it has changed the way people move. But how well do we know its impact on gender equality in mobility? This paper discusses the results of an exploratory review of the existing research on shared mobility that reveals that most of the research is focused towards assessing its impacts on transit ridership, congestion, environmental factors, car-ownership and modal shift. Very little attention is paid on how it impacts access, safety, ease or comfort of mobility for females, whose travelling needs are strikingly different than those of men. There are views, speculations and even expert opinions on the potential impacts; however, currently available information clearly shows that these services are used mainly by men implying that they are only widening the gender gap in our cities. Detailed empirical studies in developing and developed countries can establish the reasons for this gendered pattern, so that they can be resolved to create gender parity in urban mobility.

Keywords: Gendered mobility, smart mobility, car-sharing, bike-sharing, ride-hailing


Topics: Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation

Year: 2018

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