Publication: Gender and Mobility in the Developing World

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Uteng, Tanu Priya
'Access' is primarily a gendered phenomenon in the developing countries, pertaining to all the subsets of access, i.e. access to information, rights, land, money, education, skills, political participation and voice. It thus becomes incumbent upon the policy makers and development practitioners to shred down the details of these 'constrained accesses' to truly empower women. This study highlights the ways in which constrained (daily) mobility i.e. the element of physical access to different facilities bears upon the issue of women empowerment. Rather than being a singular function of transport provision, the daily mobility of women in developing countries is guided by a set of complex hierarchies. This study contends that the following elements, though not exhaustive in nature, are highly influential in gendering of mobility in the present times: prevalent social/cultural norms, transport infrastructure, physical/area planning, effects of globalization, governance (women's presence and participation in informal sector and micro-credit schemes), pre and post disaster/conflict rehabilitation process and access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Although the study is primarily a review of recent academic and policy-oriented literature, the core idea has been to salvage the theme of 'women and transport' from the narrow confines of transport-related understanding and highlight that 'mobility' is a multi-faceted phenomenon and bears significant impact on the overarching aim of women empowerment.
Uteng, Tanu Priya. 2012. Gender and Mobility in the Developing World. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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