Category Archives: Women

World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda have since 1988 been strong proponents of full gender parity in planning and decision counsel. In this section you will find a number of the numerous articles that we have published arguing in favor of gender parity in recent years. You may also wish to check out the supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gatnet/.
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Saudi women call new day of defiance against driving ban

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RIYADH (AFP) –  Saudi women activists have called for a new day of defiance next month of the long-standing ban on women driving in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

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Penang Focus Group 10. Women, Gender Balance and Leadership

FB penang-women bus credit http- www. flickr com photos bitemytrip.8541775016

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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.

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Saudi women can now legally bike in public (under certain conditions)

saudi woman bicycle gent

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Weekend musing: If you like anything at all about World Streets, please make sure you go see Wadjda.

saudi arabia wadjda poster

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Support for women and leadership in transport. This time from Hong Kong.

The latest news about increasing support of women in leadership positions in transport just in this morning from Hong Kong.

World Streets is firmly behind the movement to bring more women at all levels of society and in all countries into the heart of the process of understanding, planning and implementing fair mobility for all. Since 1973 the editor has been actively engaged in the movement to increase the role of women in the highest levels of leadership in public, private sectors and into the volunteer and NGO movement. At times this has been a lonely vigil, but as the French poet Louis Aragon told us some two generations ago: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (Woman is the future of man). If you believe that, it makes you very hard to stop. Continue reading

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Rosie the Riveter, on Wheels

woman bikke to work - andy singer-larger

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Behind the Rape in the Bus Over at India Streets today – http://www.facebook.com/IndiaStreets – the distinguished Indian journalist and writer, Vidyadhar Date, posts an article entitled “Rosa Parks, The Power of Resistance and the Rape In The Bus In Delhi”. … Continue reading

Importance of Gender Parity in Transport Planning and Policy

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World Streets actively supports the International Day of the Girl

11 October 2012: World Streets supports the full and active citizenship, rights and participation of women of all ages in every home, corner, school and  street of every city and every nation of this planet. See PLan International for today’s announcement and a first round of background information on this important day. 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

IV. The Female Quotient: Next steps on World Streets – Leadership Profiles

After the first article in this series appeared in these pages on July 27th, more than fifty people from a dozen countries responded with suggestions and nominations for profiles of outstanding women who through their work, character and originality are, quite literally, shaping and re-shaping the transportation agenda. Based on that strong response, their quality and the evident interest in the topic, we have decided to see if we can work with those making these nominations to provide a series of leadership profiles to improve the international visibility concerning the contributions that women are making in the field at all the key levels involved. Continue reading

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

29 July interim progress report:
This off-the-cuff collaborative brainstorm is proving a pure learning experience. We started out with a single long-held idea: i.e., the importance of getting all aspects of the sustainable transport planning and policy establishment on to a gender-level footing. And against that understanding we set out on Tuesday  to see if we could, with a little help from our friends, come up with a convincing list identifying a certain number of outstanding women leaders working in our field who, though their excellent preparation, their strong convictions and their courageous pioneering actions, are literally redrawing the new mobility map (and the mental maps) of our cities. And all that at a level of excellence that captures the attention of others in other places, and inspires them to study, emulate and perhaps even to surpass the original project, approach and policies. Continue reading

II. The Female Quotient. Women Shaping the Future: 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

I. The Female Quotient. 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.  Now what is to me most striking about these lists is that on almost all occasions they invariably consist not only of outstanding people, but almost entirely of names of males. Continue reading

Women2Drive: A Day to be remembered in The Kingdom and beyond.

It is a rare day that World Streets comes out in favor of cars in cities. But even that of course is not quite true. At best there will be plenty of cars in our cities, but they will not be parked and they will be chauffeuring not just their drivers but offering affordable services to flexible groups of people safely and efficiently. Great way to get around when you get it right.

And getting it right is the theme of the day today in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where, as you all surely are aware, a few – we will possibly never know the exact number – Saudi women have decided that they have a rightful place in society, in the public space, and that this also includes being behind the wheel when they need to get somewhere. And today is their great day: Women2Drive is social media-driven campaign and sisterhood project in which a certain number of intrepid women are getting behind the wheel and defying the Kingdom’s long ban on female drivers. Here is a fine article from the New York Times  introducing the topic, and for more we and our readers will be adding more in the days to come.

La femme est l’avenir de l’homme. Or in English: Go for it Sisters. Continue reading

Cycles of Change: Pedaling to Empowerment in Dhaka

Bangladeshi women face significant barriers from family, neighbors and society in getting on a bike a riding around town in bright daylight. Freedom of mobility is seriously curtailed in Dhaka if women don’t feel safe to travel independently in their own city. Over 35% of female commuters in Dhaka depend on a cycle rickshaw and as more major roads ban these rickshaws, daily mobility for women is threatened furthermore. Arohi’s tagline: “Pedaling the way to empowerment” summarizes the links that we plan to draw between cycles, mobility and empowerment. Continue reading

To fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Decision and Investment Fora (QED)

Today is 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. Continue reading

Interview: Sharing is important on the World’s Streets

On a cold gray Paris winter day Ms Lesley Brown, editor of Mobility magazine, came to World Streets to interview the editor about his noisily stated views on the importance of sharing in the future of the transport sector. Her article made it into the pages of Mobility on 20 January, which you can read in the original here or just below. Continue reading

On the road with one of Cairo’s first female taxi drivers

Source: BBC News, 27 Sept. 2010

Source: BBC News, 27 Sept. 2010

We cannot of course be sure if you are following all of our web of key themes that together create the bedrock of World Streets, but two of these that are most important to us are (a) the importance of “pattern change” and, of course our old friends will say, (b) the role of women as not just passive passengers in a system designed by and mainly for men, but also active drivers of the changes that we now need to put in place to have mobility systems which are both sustainable and just as well as efficient. With this in view, let’s share with you this morning  a very short video just in from the BBC in which one of Cairo’s new female taxi drivers shares with us some of her views on her job and the attitudes it evokes in the people around on the street. Continue reading

Gender, Economic Integration and Cross-Border Infrastructure Development

We do not often provide coverage of conferences and their output, however World Streets is strongly  committed to the concept of taking women’s needs as the prime target, the defining metric of transport policy and practice in cities and in rural areas.  (If you click to http://worldstreets.wordpress.com/category/women/ you will be taken to other articles in this W/S series and campaign.) Continue reading

The New Mobility Strategy

Step 1: Say good-bye to Old Mobility:

“Plan Zero” – also known as “old mobility” – with its stress on supply, more vehicles  and more infrastructure as the knee-jerk answer to our mobility problems, has been the favored path for decision-making and investment in the sector over the last 70 years. It is well-known and easy to see where it is leading. Aggressing the planet, costing us a bundle, draining the world’s petroleum reserves, and delivering poor service for the majority . . . Plan Zero is a clear failure. It’s time for Plan A : The fifteen steady steps to sustainable transport and a sustainable city. Continue reading

Why Women Bike . . . and Why They Don’t

To follow up on yesterday’s piece by Janice Turner on “dull cycling” in the UK, the ever-stylish biker April Streeter reports from Portland on a survey of why women in the US cycle, and why they do not. (And if you are a female cyclist and have views on why women cycle, or perhaps do not, in your country, let us hear from you too.) Continue reading

Cycling should be dull

” (Government) policy is not to make cycling safer but to encourage more people to be brave.” The author, Janice Turner writing for the Times, puts her finger on one of the greater truths of public policy and cycling, which every city and every New Mobility activist will do well to bear in mind. In her words: “Cycling. . . should be banal. Because it is safe” Continue reading