Women and Men in Public Consultations of Road-Building Projects


Levin, Lena, and Charlotta Faith-Ell. 2011. “Women and Men in Public Consultations of Road-Building Projects.” In Women’s Issues in Transportation: Summary of the 4th International Conference, Volume 2: Technical Papers, 236-45. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Authors: Lena Levin, Charlotta Faith-Ell


"This paper discusses results of a research project designed to increase knowledge about women’s and men’s participation and their opportunities to take part in and influence the road planning process. The project was accomplished in an explorative case study, an advertisement study, and an implementation study that used questionnaires, observations, quantitative and qualitative analyses of conversations, content analysis of minutes, and advertisements. A basic principle of public participation argues that it should be inclusive and equitable to ensure that all interests and groups are respected. A literature study found that the subject of gender equality is basically nonexistent in the literature on environmental impact assessment. This project shows that about a quarter of participants at consultation meetings are women, but men talk longer and ask more questions. Those who attend meetings are generally older and have more education than the average person. Men and women bring up environmental and road safety issues during meetings, but men more often discuss economy, technical facts, alternative routings, and landownership. Some participants had more experience taking part in public meetings and talking in front of other people. Participants with less experience seem to need more guid- ance and take a more active part in the meeting when a moderator leads the discussion. It is tempting to say that men are more experienced and women are less experienced, but that would be an oversimplification. The aim of increasing gender equality through an intervention study did not completely succeed" (Levin and Faith-Ell, 236).

Topics: Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Political Participation

Year: 2011

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