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How social roles limit women’s access to transport services

Gail Jennings, course convenor, continues her conversation with Winnie Sambu and Alisha Myers from World Bicycle Relief

Gail Jennings, course convenor, continues her conversation with Winnie Sambu and Alisha Myers from World Bicycle Relief. They discuss how women’s traditional household and caregiving responsibilities in Sub-Saharan Africa are more challenging because they don’t have access to appropriate or affordable transport services.

After watching the video, read this this extract from ‘I have to beg with a genuine reason’: shifting from gender-sensitive transport to gender equity in Sub-Saharan Africa (2023), where women describe having to ask their husbands or fathers for permission to use a bicycle or for money to pay for transport fares.

‘The man has absolute control. Decision making on who uses the bicycle in our homes is done by the men in our homes. My elder brother owns a bicycle but he does not allow us women to use it for any activity yet we are very far from a water point. And when we pressure him to allow us to use the bicycle to fetch water, instead he gives it to the boy children in the family to be the ones to ride and fetch water and not any female to use it because he says we shall spoil it’ .

Join the conversation:

Are you ever in a position where a woman has to ask you for permission to travel? Do you ever have to ask for permission from someone before you can travel? How does this make you feel? Share on the discussion group if you like.

Reference Jennings, Gail (2023) ‘I have to beg with a genuine reason’: shifting from gender-sensitive transport to gender equity in Sub-Saharan Africa. VREF

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