Access and Gender: Policies for inclusive transit-oriented development

A new report jointly produced by the Women's Environment and Development Organisation and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) explore how transportation systems have failed to account for diverse mobility patterns and needs among different genders, creating dynamics that widen gender gaps in societies in both high-income and low-income countries.

It provides key stakeholders from civil society, subnational authorities, donor organisations and national governmentswith a brief overview of the gender aspects of sustainable mobility and a set of recommendations to promote gender-responsive actions.

Transit-oriented development (TOD) provides integrated urban places that bring together people, activities, services, buildings, and public space, but it does not inherently lead to social inclusion and equality and can result in displacement.

Although the gender gap in the transport sector is no secret, women’s ideas and needs continue to be left out of the planning and policy process. When women are not represented in leadership or on staff, they have little to no role in the planning process and less access to decision-making.

For example, women account for only 17.5% of the workforce in the urban public transport sector in Europe.Additionally, women are underrepresented in leadership positions within those occupations. In the United States, only three of the 18national transportation secretaries have been women. As the world transitions to sustainable mobility, reflecting the push for a “just and equitable transition” to a non fossil-fueled economy, the transport sector will need to transition workers to the new economy. The transition often considers those moving outof carbon-intensive positions, but a just and equitable transition will also ensure entry points for new workers, including women, indigenous peoples, persons of colour, LGBTQI, persons with disabilities, and others as it expands decent work and diversity, including in the transportation sector.


To redress the gender imbalances in cities, their urban form, and transportation systems and to ensure respect for human rights, the report recommends five key steps:

1. Incorporate women, women’s human rights, and gender considerations into the planning processes and policy frameworks

2. Design complete streets that are safe for all users, beginning first and foremost with good walking environments, but also for facilitating cycling, intermediate modes, and public transport, which is also green and climate resilient

3. Develop complete communities by ensuring land use and transport are well integrated and deliver a mix of activities and services at the neighborhood level

4. Provide inclusive transport services and vehicles that meet varied trip patterns and needs beyond the commute

5. Enable progress with funding, education, and outreach to achieve inclusive sustainable mobility

Read or download the full report here.

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