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An Introduction to Gender and Mobility in Emerging Economies

Explore issues of gender and mobility, and learn how gender-sensitive planning could make the transport sector more inclusive.

650 enrolled on this course

Two women in Lagos, Nigeria, walking between yellow popular (also called informal) minibuses that are parked.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Learn why gender matters in transport and mobility

Throughout history, transport policies and services have almost always been designed by and for men. There is now a growing awareness among researchers and policy-makers that ignoring women’s needs can impact their ability to use transport.

On this four-week course from the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative, you’ll learn why gender matters in transport and mobility. Focusing particularly on emerging economies, you’ll explore what happens when we bring gender and mobility issues together, and how gender-sensitive planning could improve transport access for everyone.

Examine mobility patterns and needs among women

You’ll start the course by examining women’s needs, patterns, and priorities in relation to transport. Taking a firmly international focus, you’ll look at case studies from cities across the globe.

You’ll understand why women’s needs differ from those of men, and how current transport models may be failing women. You’ll also explore the connection between gender, poverty, and transport.

Explore ways of improving female representation in the transport sector

Beyond gender biases affecting individual services, women are also under-represented in the transport sector as a whole.

Week 3 of the course will look at the barriers women face in accessing senior positions in transport, and strategies for encouraging women to work in the sector.

Understand the importance of gender-sensitive planning

In the final week of the course, you’ll look to the future of a more inclusive transport sector.

You’ll learn what it means to gather gender-inclusive data and make gender-sensitive decisions in order to reduce inequality across mobility systems.

At the end of the course, you’ll join other learners to discuss how you can apply your expertise in workplaces all around the world.


  • Week 1

    Why women’s mobility and transport needs must be met

    • Welcome and outline

      In Week 1, you’ll first understand that women’s mobility and transport needs differ from those of men. You’ll also discover how these needs differ, and why this matters.

    • Discover why gender matters in mobility and transport

      In this step we will discover that gender plays a significant role in how individuals experience the transport system. This is because women and men’s mobility and transport needs are not the same.

    • Investigate why transport systems have been designed around the mobility needs of men

      Here we explore how public transport usually operates on work-commuter timetables, thus catering for the travel patterns of people who work outside of the home.

    • Understand why meeting women’s needs leaves no-one behind

      Here we spend more time understanding how meeting everyone’s needs makes a better society for everyone, but that women and men place different emphasis on different needs.

    • Recap and test your knowledge

      Here we recap our discussion so far, and start to think about personal safety, which is the focus of Week 2.

  • Week 2

    What are women's mobility patterns and needs?

    • Welcome and outline

      Travel patterns and mobility needs are not the same for everyone, and are different depending on gender, age, type of work, and many other factors in society.

    • Understand the mobility patterns of women, giving personal examples

      Here we’ll explore women’s travel patterns further, considering different life stages, socio-economic circumstances, geographies, and other factors. As we will discover, not all women have the same needs and challenges.

    • Recognise the link between trip purposes and travel patterns

      Women tend to have different trip purposes to men, which result in different travel patterns. Many of the differences are due to the constructed roles of men and women in society. Let’s explore this further.

    • Demonstrate the safety-related mobility needs of women using supporting data from your city or town

      Here we look at examples of what has been done around the world to make travel safer for women. You will have an opportunity to look at what your city has done in this regard.

    • Assess and share your own safety-related mobility needs

      Women almost always mention safety as one of their highest priorities on public transport and in public spaces.

  • Week 3

    How to encourage more women to work in transport, and why this matters

    • Welcome and outline

      Gender stereotypes in certain jobs, discriminatory work cultures, lack of job flexibility and childcare facilities, among other things, make it difficult for the transport sector to attract and retain women.

    • Explain why we need more women in transport and mobility positions

      Here we talk to people working in the transport sector to understand why we need more women to work in this space.

    • View the current picture of women working in mobility and transport

      In this step we take a look at how few women work in the transport sector, and why we will all benefit when this changes.

    • Identify the barriers to women wanting to enter the transport sector

      Here we ask you why there are so few women working in the transport sector.

    • Apply your new knowledge to a local case study

      Here we put the week’s insights together to imagine how a project outcome could be different, if women had been part of the decision-making and implementation teams.

  • Week 4

    When and where to collect data for gender-sensitive decision-making

    • Welcome and outline

      In this week we aim our lens at data and decision-making in the transport sector. We will look at the value of robust disaggregated data and participatory consultation within the decision-making process.

    • Describe the nature of gender-sensitive data

      In this step, we will discover what kinds of data are important to collect about how women travel, and gain some ideas about innovative ways of collecting and picturing the data.

    • Explain the process of collecting gender-sensitive data

      In this step we consider how knowledge about women’s mobility needs is created and made visible. We will look at typical as well as more innovative and participatory ways of collecting data.

    • Understand how to use gender-sensitive data for planning and implementation

      Here we look at the purpose of collecting gender-disaggregated data, and how better decisions can be made about infrastructure and implementation when this data is taken on board.

    • Apply your skills to facilitate change

      Congratulations – you have completed all four weeks about gender, mobility needs, and transport services. Let’s briefly summarise what we have covered on this programme.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe how transport policies and solutions have been designed around men’s needs
  • Justify why we must focus on women's needs
  • Discuss the mobility patterns of women
  • Reflect on how gender roles lead to specific mobility needs
  • Demonstrate the safety-related mobility needs of women using supporting data
  • Explore and share your own safety-related mobility needs
  • Explain why we need more women in mobility and transport positions
  • Investigate the current picture of women working in transport and mobility
  • Identify the barriers to women wanting to enter the transport sector
  • Apply your new knowledge to a local case study
  • Describe the nature of gender-sensitive data
  • Explain the process of collecting gender-sensitive data
  • Demonstrate how empirical and gender-sensitive data can be used for planning and implementation
  • Apply the skills learned in this course in a workplace scenario

Who is the course for?

This introductory course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the importance of gender equity and inclusivity in transport and mobility systems. It will provide a strong foundation in these issues for anyone involved in transport, mobility, urban planning, policy development and/or implementation across government, non-profit and private spheres.

Learners are not required to have any prior knowledge in the fields of gender or mobility to enrol in this course.

Who will you learn with?

Hello. I am a researcher based in Africa. My work explores the access and mobility needs of people who are marginalised, excluded, or vulnerable, particularly women, pedestrians, and cyclists.

Hello, I'm Alison Faraday, an ICF-certified Coach dedicated to enabling personal and team growth.

Hi there, I am Claudia. As an innovation manager and experience designer I focus on the development of human centered mobility solutions that make a true difference for the economy, the environment &

Hello! I am a Sustainable Transport Planner and Adivsor at the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) and Women Mobilize Women (WMW) at GIZ.

Gender & Mobility Expert at Punkt vor Strich & Women in Mobility

Who developed the course?

Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI)

The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) is implemented by GIZ and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (English: German Agency for International Cooperation GmbH), often simply shortened to GIZ, is the main German development agency. It provides tailor-made services for sustainable development through international development cooperation and international education work.

Women Mobilize Women

Today, Women Mobilize Women is a network of female change makers from all over the world, seeking to actively transform the mobility sector to become more diverse. In addition, Women Mobilize Women aims to raise awareness to the topic of gender and transport amongst planners and decision-makers in the transport sector.

Punkt vor Strich

Our team’s expertise lies in many years of experience in research, innovation and technology. In cooperation with our partners, we utilize and enable the full potential of future-oriented mobility at all levels – socially, economically and ecologically.

Gail Jennings

I am an independent researcher (public health, urban sustainability and sustainable mobility), based in Cape Town South Africa but working globally, who emphasises equity, social justice and user needs in my method and approach.

My research background includes behaviour-change communication, public health and sustainable mobility, and I have published and presented nationally and internationally about appropriate transport systems, transport behaviour, social justice, and citizen activism.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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