Blog by Ellin Ivarsson, Aiga Stokenberg and Juan Ignacio Fulponi: “All over the world, there is growing evidence showing that women and men travel differently. While there are many reasons behind this, one key factor is the persistence of traditional gender norms and roles that translate into different household responsibilities, different work schedules, and, ultimately, different mobility needs. Greater overall risk aversion and sensitivity to safety issues also play an important role in how women get around. Yet gender often remains an afterthought in the transport sector, meaning most policies or infrastructure investment plans are not designed to take into account the specific mobility needs of women.
The good news is that big data can help change that. In a recent study, the World Bank Transport team combined several data sources to analyze how women travel around the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA), including mobile phone signal data, congestion data from Waze, public transport smart card data, and data from a survey implemented by the team in early 2022 with over 20,300 car and motorcycle users.
Our research revealed that, on average, women in AMBA travel less often than men, travel shorter distances, and tend to engage in more complex trips with multiple stops and purposes. On average, 65 percent of the trips made by women are shorter than 5 kilometers, compared to 60 percent among men. Also, women’s hourly travel patterns are different, with 10 percent more trips than men during the mid-day off-peak hour, mostly originating in central AMBA. This reflects the larger burden of household responsibilities faced by women – such as picking children up from school – and the fact that women tend to work more irregular hours…(More)” See also Gender gaps in urban mobility.