Gender is one of the most important characteristics to explain people’s mobility choices, which in turn impact people’s access to education, employment, health and overall wellbeing. Therefore, a gender-sensitive approach to transport policy is necessary to achieve sustainability in transportation, enhance social inclusion and contribute to social justice, according to a new study published today by The Left group in the European Parliament. The study will be presented on 9 March in the European Parliament at the conference “Overcoming gender-based barriers in transport and mobility” (click here for more information).

MEP Elena Kountoura (Syriza), Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism: “Policymakers have ignored the needs of women in transport – both as users and as workers – for far too long. We must target gender discrimination in transportation to redesign transport planning and policies. That goes hand in hand with sustainability.”

The lack of attention to gender and the various grounds of possible discrimination such as age, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin affects public transport services and provokes countereffects on users.

Women are also disadvantaged as employees in the transport sector. Only about one in five employees in the transport sector is female. Together with representatives of transport unions, employees and activists, The Left group in the European Parliament will discuss on 9 March how transport policy can be made more inclusive and how we can end discrimination in the transport sector. MEP João Pimenta Lopes (Partido Comunista Português), Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism: “Mobility is at the heart of societies’ development – a cohesive, egalitarian and safe one. Ensuring equal rights, recognizing the specific claim of women workers in the transport sector, and overcoming the constraints for safe transport use are central to a progressive and emancipatory policy.”

MEP Leila Chaibi (La France Insoumise), Substitute Member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism: “Tackling discrimination against women workers in the transport sector is the first step to implement a mobility model that fully fits women”.
Silvia Sansonetti and Roberta Paoletti from the Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini conducted the study. Silvia Sansonetti: “Designing and planning public transport considering affordability, availability, and sustainability is not just a socio-economic issue, but also an environmental issue. Counteracting climate change by reducing CO2 emissions is a priority, but the most vulnerable groups should not bear its costs”. Roberta Paoletti: “Transport mobility is not simply about people moving from one point to another. It impacts employment and the possibility of accessing education and training for children and adults. It impacts accessing health services and, therefore, people’s health. It impacts the access to cultural life which is conducive to social inclusion, enhancing well-being and creating a sense of belonging and shared identity. Transport mobility therefore has profound bearings on social justice and social inclusion.”