Mobility Regimes and Equity in Urban Transport: Examining Women’s Mobility Experiences in Accra
Author / Authors:
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)
In this chapter, we engage with the theme of equity in urban transport systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and discuss the ways in which constrained everyday mobility bears upon the issue of women’s empowerment. Drawing on three months of fieldwork by the first author and taking our point of departure in the conceptualization of a mobility regime, we examine how spatial, economic, and social dimensions combine to sustain certain structures related to working women’s mobility in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Within the context of increasing urbanization, underinvestment in urban planning and limited traffic regulation, the chapter examines a nexus between livelihood activities, gender, and employment, and foregrounds a specific importance placed on work by women in Accra—both in terms of fulfilling their responsibilities as mothers and of engaging in the development of the city—which to a large extent shape a mobility regime characterized by distinctly female attitudes towards and use of mobility. In conclusion, we point to the mental and physical barriers for women as agents of change if they are disadvantaged in transport systems and as such to the importance of understanding gendered mobility regimes when planning for equity in transport systems in fast growing cities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Doing so, we argue, will require an exploration of how people move, their reasons for doing so and their experience of this movement as well as, critically, how these differ for gender and family contexts.
Urban transport systems,
Equity in transport,
- Book Chapter