World Bank and UN Women Launch Course on Managing Gender Equality in Transportation

Washington: A first-of-its-kind course presented by the World Bank and UN Women will examine the often-invisible gender issues surrounding mobility in the transport sector.

Barriers to transportation, and to jobs in the transport sector, mean diminished mobility and fewer opportunities for women. Limited access to jobs, healthcare and education is not only bad for women and girls, it also impacts whole countries. Gendered mobility barriers take a significant toll on countries’ economic growth potential. A 2017 report from the International Labour Organization identified lack of transport as the greatest challenge to female labor force participation in developing countries, lowering the probability of women participating in the labor force by an estimated 16.5 percent.

The COVID-19 crisis has made gender access issues even more urgent. As national and local governments revisit transport systems to make them more resilient and green, there is an increased focus on public transport, walking, and cycling—already some of the most important modes of transportation for women. Failure to include women’s needs and voices in these plans is a missed opportunity to build back better.

The new course, Gender Equality in Transportation, seeks to move away from “gender-blind” transport planning, which does not consider the mobility needs of its diverse range of users, women and girls in particular. It also looks at strategies planners can use to address the difficulties women face in getting jobs and climbing the career ladder in transport, a sector dominated by a male workforce.

The course highlights the importance of approaching transport through a gender lens, and proposes practical solutions for enhancing inclusion and equality across the sector, balancing “why” questions with operational “how” questions. It also offers examples of concrete interventions designed to support the shift toward greater gender equality in transport.

This course was jointly prepared by the World Bank’s Transport Global Practice and Open Learning Campus, and the UN Women´s Training Centre and the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative.

The course benefited from funding from the Republic of Korea, Ministry of Economy and Finance under the OLC’s Korea Program for Operational Knowledge.

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