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

WOMEN IN TRANSPORT

– 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

Contact:

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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
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | http://bit.ly/2Ti8LsX | #fekbritton | https://twitter.com/ericbritton | and | https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericbritton/ Contact: climate@newmobility.org) | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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Getting away with Murder

 In memoriam 2013

Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians and cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

Who is doing this job in your city?

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Letters: Citizen participation in cycling provision in the UK

– Ian Perry, Independent consultant and consultant. Cardiff, Wales

The importance of citizen participation in decision-making was highlighted yesterday evening at a public meeting in Penarth, South Wales, attended by 147 frustrated citizens who showed their willingness to participate in their communities decision-making.  An attempt to force the Vale of Glamorgan (county) council (Vale council) to hold a referendum on proposals for the National Cycle Network (NCN) failed by just 17 votes.  133 votes against 5 were for a referendum on the matter, with 150 votes needed under current legislation.

UK Wakes Penarth cycle protest

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SEARCH FOR A CITIZEN APP: “CLICK-TO-FIX”

click-to-fix example of photoFor my colleagues in the city of Lyon, I am trying to give them a reference for an app which permits citizens to identify and report on problems on the streets in very specific and convenient ways.  Here is how it might/should work: Continue reading

Civil Society and European Union Policy and Practice in the Field of Transportation

angry public meetingLook out. This time our friends over at the European Economic and Social Committee (JDE62) in Brussels are doing a terrific thing. Tomorrow morning they open their doors for a one day conference and brainstorm on Civil Society and European Union Policy and Practice in the Field of Transportation (my title).  As latest background information you will find here attached the final copy of their program and a list of their speakers, panelists, etc. Continue reading

“Quick Guides” for “Paradigm Shift”

The following vigorous exchange was set off by several postings that appeared today in the Sustran Global South discussion forum, subsequent to a ” UN Habitat Call for Expression of Interest for Cooperation Partners for Production of Quick Guides for Sustainable Urban Mobility” which you can access here – http://www.unhabitat.org/downloads/docs/11316_1_594501.pdf.  I would like to thank Morten Lange from Reykjavík for getting the ball rolling on this and sharing his unvarnished expert views with the group. It is my hope that this process will stimulate vigorous comments. We are not going to win the war of sustainable development and social justice by sleeping in our warm corner and leaving it to . . . whom? Continue reading

Equity-Based Transportation Planning, Policy and Practice: Helsinki project announcement

This week we initiate work on the first stages of preparatory organization in
support of an “open conversation” looking into the pros and cons of creating an equity-based transportation system at the level of a city and the surrounding region.  This first pioneering project, in which we hope will become a series of leading world city projects building on this first example, is being carried out under the leadership of  the Helsinki Department of City Planning and Transportation, and is running over the period mi-February through mid-April. Continue reading

Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All?

Today we step back and look beyond our usual sectoral concerns, and consider what this important report from the UNDP released today may or may not offer to help us to understand in our up-hill push to sustainable transport and sustainable cities. At first glance, their linking of sustainability and equality as their main theme this year is right in line with our own policy focus. So let’s have a look to see what lessons we might learn from their work and perceptions. Continue reading

Public audit and transport budget analysis: Pune India

Parisar is a civil society organization in Pune India working on lobbying and advocacy for sustainable development. Its work focuses mainly on sustainable urban transport, since it recognizes that unsustainable transport policies and systems are the foremost threat to urban environment and quality of life. This article, kindly shared with us by their blog team at http://www.parisar.org/, reports on an activity the likes of which we would like to see in every city in the world — a continuing citizen audit of the city’s budget, and in particular  those aspects that relate to transportation investments and expenditures.

Transport Budget Analysis 2011-12

Pune has for several years allocated the largest share of its budget to the transportation sector. At around 30% of the total budget, this sector gets a larger share than important sectors like health, sanitation & slum rehabilitation together.

The country has formulated a National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) and the city has commissioned a Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP). One would expect that allocation of money within the transportation sector would follow the principles of NUTP and attempt to achieve the goals laid down in the CMP. These documents have clearly mentioned their key focus as “mobility of people rather than vehicles” and keeping with this spirit, the main emphasis of CMP has been promoting public and non motorized transport in the city, and states that their modal shares should be 40% and 50% respectively by 2030.

Parisar analyzed the budgetary allocation on transportation sector in Pune’s 2011-12 budget. It emerges that more than 60% of the transport sector budget is allocated to projects which are motor vehicle friendly like building of new roads, flyovers, parking structures and re-tarring of roads. On the other hand, non-motorized friendly and public-transport friendly projects get only 9% and 18% respectively of the budget allocation in spite of including doubtful projects such as subways, skywalks, BRT (as currently implemented) and Metro (as currently planned). This clearly suggests that the city has not paid any attention to the guidelines of NUTP or the goals set by CMP while preparing its budget.

The report also presents an ‘alternative approach’, which reallocates the transport sector budget of the last two years by using all the funds budgeted for non-motorized transport (footpaths, cycle tracks) and public transport (bus augmentation, BRT, metro and mono-rail)and some of the funds allocated to motor-vehicle friendly projects and projects of doubtful utility such as pedestrian subways and skywalks, and deploying them with the explicit goal of achieving the CMP goals.

The results are startling. With the alternative funds allocation, it turns out that the city could have built around 62.5 kms of BRT (including 125 kms of cycle tracks), 612 km of footpaths, 25 km of cycle tracks (on non-BRT roads) and added about 525 buses to the PMPML fleet. Instead, over these two years, the PMC has only built 16 kms of BRT (improperly implemented), 90 km of usable footpaths, 0 kms of usable cycle tracks, and added 136 new buses under PMPML. If one compares what could have been achieved and what has been achieved to the goals set by CMP, the alternative approach would have achieved 100% of the target for footpath construction, cycle track construction, bus fleet augmentation and BRT corridor construction, while the original budget has only achieved 15%, 0%, 17% and 26% respectively.

This clearly shows that a shortage of funds is not the reason for not being able to pursue and achieve CMP goals, but a lack of vision and commitment from PMC. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the right vision and commitment from PMC, so that these goals can be achieved and Pune can get the transport solutions it needs and deserves.

* Download a copy from here.

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Thank you Parisar for reminding us that democracy starts and ends with active citizenry.

* We also would like to direct your attention to their work to develop a balanced view of BRT, and then to support informed public policy about how to get it right. Once again, active citizens ready to stand forward and do their part. Click here for more on that.