Women in Transport – As seen from Uganda

One of World Streets most consistent, persistent policy objectives is our long-term and firmly held recommendation that not only should our transportation systems be (a) designed to offer as the highest priority full and fair service for women of all ages and stations of life, but also that (b) the decision process involved something approaching a full quorum of female leaders and participants. For more on that we invite you to click  here for World streets coverage of these issues since 2009, and for more on the Gender, Equity & Transport Forum 2.0  go here –   http://gatnet.wordpress.com.

The following article on the  status and role of women in transport in Uganda  has been sent to us by the Civil Society Coalition on Transport (CICOT) in Uganda.

uganda women street carrying on heads


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uganda - Transporter Newsletter - top page


- Source: CISCOT - The Transporter Newsletter 2014, Issue .

The present transport system has largely been designed to carter more for men and majorly by men. Professionals are increasingly aware of the social dimension of transport, but there is still fundamental lack of awareness of the gen­der differentiated impact of transport policy and provision. There is a need to introduce piecemeal initiatives, such as the Public Transport Gender Audit and the subsequent Public Transport Gender Checklist right from the local level and closely monitor and audit their take up closely.

Apparently the employment in the transport sector is very male-dominated. This constrains women in development.

There is scarcity of women in central positions in the policymaking and planning of transport, and there is a systematic failure to incorporate the voices of women users in the consultation and planning of the transport systems. The absence of systematic gender inclusion procedures for transport, in terms of training for professionals, the participation of users or the design and planning of systems services and equipment suggests that gender analysis is not seen as relevant to transport policy. More women than men are facing transport problems in accessing a range of public services.

It is no longer acceptable not to have women sit with men in decision-making roles. This will benefit the institutions involved in create a more balanced work environment. Let us begin by lighting a single candle than to sit and curse the darkness.

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What is CISCOT?

The Civil Society Coalition on Transport in Uganda (CISCOT) aims to contribute to an efficient, effective and safe transport system. It brings together organisations to harness the potential of civil society and to build a strong, collective voice to address the needs and concerns of citizens on transport issues.  Created in 2013, the Coalition focuses on three broad areas:

  • Citizen mobilisation and support
  • Sector monitoring, advocacy and influence
  • Coalition building and institutional development


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World Streets can only applaud and hope the very best for this courageous civil society initiative  in an environment which is not always so  welcoming of  contrary views.

Eric Britton, editor

Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is MD of EcoPlan International, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. His work focuses on the target of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport, and helping governments to ask the right questions and from this starting point to find and implement practical solutions to climate, mobility, public space and job creation challenges. He is currently working on a book for publication in early 2015, “The General Theory of Sustainable Transport in Cities” which is being presented, discussed and critiqued in a series of international conferences over 2014.

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Join: The Gender, Equity and Transport Forum

Want to have a quick look at a new collaborative website on our important subject that we are just starting to work up? And give us your first impressions and views? It is still very rough, but we think it’s perhaps not a bad start. With your help it will be better.

Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas.

- – - > Click to Gender, Equity and Transport Forum – at http://gatnet.wordpress.com/

- – - > Click to Facebook Group page – at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gatnet


africa - Zambia - women bicycle ambulence

Bicycle ambulances help women in need of urgent medical care in Africa


World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 19, No. 2

Rural access, health & disability in Africa

A Special Edition of World Transport, Spring 2013

africa bike hosptial transportTransport, health and disability are interlinked on many levels, with transport availability directly and indirectly influenc­ing health, and health status influencing transport options. This is especially the case in rural locations of sub-Saharan Af­rica, where transport services are typically not only high cost, but also less frequent and less reliable than in urban areas.

Continue reading

Demand Nirbhaya—Fearless—Cities

- Anumita Roychowdhury, Dehli.  6 Mar, 2013

Catalysing safe design for public spaces should be among the top priorities to make cities safe for women, children and elderly

I first let this pass without comment—the Rs 1,000 crore Nirbhaya fund for women’s safety proposed in the Union Bdget.  Many have glossed over this with a reverent salute to quickly move on to the hard numbers of this stark accounting document. Others are angry, outraged, and dismissive of this fund as tokenism and populism with no clarity of mandate. But I read that paragraph in the budget speech once again.

My attention was riveted to this observation: “As more women enter public spaces—for education or work or access to services or leisure—there are more reports of violence against them.” The operative word here is “public spaces”.  Of course, Chidambaram has used this literally to state the obvious. But if we were to join the dots to write the terms of reference for the ministry of women and child development and other ministries to define the scope and structure of the ‘Nirbhaya fund’, then catalysing safe design for “public spaces” would be among the top priorities.

Continue reading

La femme est l’avenir de l’homme

* Click to enlarge

The French poet Louis Aragon told us some two generations ago that “Woman is the future of man”.  And if we had any doubts about that as we enter into 2012, we  have today before our eyes this exceptional, moving photograph of a street demonstration yesterday in which several thousand brave women marched through central Cairo in an extraordinary expression of anger over images of soldiers beating, stripping and kicking female demonstrators in Tahrir Square. Continue reading

III. Women shaping the future of transport in cities: Who, how, where?

29 July progress report:
This off-the-cuff collaborative brainstorm is proving a pure and joyful learning experience. We started out with a single long-held idea: the importance of getting all aspects of the sustainable transport establishment on to a gender-level footing. Continue reading

II. Women Shaping the Agenda: What are the criteria for measuring “impact”?

There has been a refreshingly enthusiastic reaction to our posting yesterday asking about the general deficiency of information on women leaders in the field of sustainable transport in cities. But one note came in from the prolific environmental educator and recognized policy adviser Elizabeth Deacon challenging us in these exact words: “I assume you think there are in fact women who have had an impact. But I then must also assume that your comments have gone unheeded. At the same time, one has to wonder what the criteria are for measuring “impact” – do you know???” Fair question. Continue reading

There are no women in the world who are shaping the sustainable transportation agenda? (Apparently)

I wonder if I am the only person in the world who gets upset at this:

I am from time to time approached by groups and publications with in-progress lists identifying whom they see as the most influential people who are through their work and efforts shaping the sustainable transportation agenda, which they then ask me to comment, add to, etc. Continue reading

Fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Decision and Investment Fora

Today is the International Women’s Day. And not only that, 2011 marks the one hundredth anniversary of this great and necessary idea. So what better occasion for World Streets to announce  publicly, loudly and yet once again our firm belief that the most important single thing that our society, our nations and our cities could do to increase the fairness and the effectiveness  of our transportation arrangements would be to make it a matter of the law that all decisions determining how taxpayer money is  invested in the sector should be decided by councils that respect full gender parity. We invite you to join us in this challenge and make it one of the major themes of sustainable transport policy worldwide in 2011. Continue reading

What is the best way to teach an adult to cycle?

Sustainable transport cannot be separated from sustainable cities. Nor sustainable cities from sustainable lives. Here is a small project from Sweden that takes as its goal to teach people how to balance and move safely around on a bike. But who in Sweden cannot climb on a cycle without a thought and toddle off? Well, among others immigrant women coming from Africa and the Middle East who find themselves living in this very different culture in which they are free to cycle like everyone else. This modest project is a shining example of how we can move toward sustainability: it is perspicacious, generous, practical, responsible and the sort of thing that can be replicated easily at low cost and to great effect in your community. Sustainability is made up of many small things done together in new and softer ways. Let’s listen to Ian Fiddies on their project. Continue reading

Women, Transport and Equity – editorial function

Hello Nite,

Sorry but we need more than a coordinator for this special edition.

The editorial function requires that the person in that slot read, ponder and finally approve every article, every line. It is a real job, and requires as well that she dialogue with the authors to make sure that each piece is up to our high (self imposed) standard. So, it is not just a collection, but a formal Special Edition of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. Ideally the editor will also write a final warp-up piece that takes on the job of putting the edition, including the story of how it came about, into the broader context of what concerns us all most: Women, Transport and Equity.

I would love to do it but simply do not have the time or budget. I really regret that.

And if that is not in the cards, let’s not give up. There may be other ways to go with a largely unedited "collection".

Now what?

Warm regards, Eric

From: Nite Tanzarn [mailto:tanzarn@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, 20 December, 2010 07:41
To: eric britton
Subject: Re: Gender, Transport and Equity on WTPP

Hi Eric,
Great! Cannot think of a guest editor. Kate had volunteered to coordinate the process. Would she qualify as a guest editor?