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The role of Gender and Transport in the UN Millennium Development Goals

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  • Eric Britton
    [Dear Friends: I hope that you will take the time to have a close look at this, and if possible to join their discussions. Our New Mobility Agenda is
    Message 1 of 1 , May 23, 2005
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      [Dear Friends:  I hope that you will take the time to have a close look at this, and if possible to join their discussions. Our New Mobility Agenda is dedicated to increasing the participation of women in the transport dialogue. And here is a chance for us to prove it.]




      -----Original Message-----
      From: jeff turner [mailto:jeffreymturner@...]
      Monday, May 23, 2005 12:05 AM
      To: Gender and Transport
      Subject: [gatnet] TOPIC 1: The role of Gender and Transport in the MDG's


      Dear colleagues


      Welcome to this important virtual discussion on mainstreaming gender in the

      transport sector. My name is Jeff Turner and I am your moderator for the

      first topic of discussion on the role of gender and transport in the

      millennium development goals. My job during this week, is to promote

      discussion and to produce a summary of the week's discussions, that will be

      available to the GATNET list serv and will be posted on the IFRTD website at

      www.ifrtd.org. Also, don't forget the US Transportation Research Board is

      issuing a call for papers on this very topic and contributors are encouraged

      to submit papers.


      I would like to start off the week's discussions by posing a series of

      questions that will hopefully provoke thought, comment and discussion.


      I would firstly like to remind people what the UN Millennium Development

      Goals (MDG's) are. They are a set of timebound and measurable goals and

      targets for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental

      degradation and discrimination against women, established by world leaders

      in 2000. The MDG's:


      •           Halve extreme poverty and hunger

      •           Achieve universal primary education

      •           Empower women and promote equality between women and men

      •           Reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds

      •           Reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters

      •           Reverse the spread of diseases, especially hiv/aids and malaria

      •           Ensure environmental sustainability

      •           Create a global partnership for development, with targets for aid, trade

      and debt relief



      1.         Why transport and the millennium development goals?


      It is beginning to be appreciated that physical access and mobility are

      embedded within all the MDG's and fundamental to their successful

      achievement. They form part of the key to successful service delivery,

      access and mobility is a key to enabling enhanced trade, the nature of

      access and mobility will impact significantly on the environmental

      sustainability. For example, the recent Sachs report on achieving the MDGs

      (http://www.unmillenniumproject.org/reports/index.htm ) and the Commission

      for Africa report


      highlight the need for improved transport infrastructure in many developing

      countries. What is still failing to be appreciated is that transport

      services are also needed as without a means of mobility, infrastructure is

      no solution. What is also not clear is what type of infrastructure, with the

      Sachs work focusing on local roads, and the Commission for Africa

      concentrating on privately financed trans-regional networks. Still less, is

      the appreciation of the gendered nature of access and mobility.


      Why should we be looking at the role of transport in the MDG's? Why should

      we be looking at the gendered role of transport in the MDG's?


      2.         What do we know of the role of transport in the MDG's and what do we know

      of the gendered nature of this role?


      If we argue that transport does play a role in the achievement of MDG's, it

      is clear that the role that transport plays is gendered. It is also clear

      that the argument is not really getting through. We still need to make a

      clear case that transport plays a key role in achieving the MDG's. There are

      gendered transport interventions that could be taken which greatly assist

      the achievement of the MDG's. For example, there are transport interventions

      which could be taken in respect of maternal mortality which would greatly

      reduce maternal mortality rates. And there are projects in Africa developed

      by Africans which have accomplished radical lowering of maternal mortality

      rates within specific localities. In terms of the Maternal Health MDG and

      transport interventions, there is a toolkit developed by Professor Margaret

      Grieco at http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/mg294/maternalmortality.html


      Are there any other toolkits of interventions for other MDG's?

      What other transport interventions do people know of that have had impact on

      achievement of any particular MDG?


      What research and evidence is there available to inform our knowledge of the

      gendered role of transport in the MDG's?

      What research still of the interactions between transport and MDG's needs to

      be done?


      3.         What role do the efforts to achieve the MDGs play in the transport



      The transport sector should be affected by efforts to achieve the MDGs'. I

      am thinking particularly here of the gender equality MDG (Empower women and

      promote equality between women and men). Should this MDG be wider than just

      gendered disparities of education attainment?


      Interventions here are more likely to be about governance of the transport

      sector and the mainstreaming of gender in how transport is managed, planned

      and operated.  The sector needs new protocols to work to. An example of what

      impact this could have on the transport sector is set out in the paper '

      Gender and User Group Protocols: The Need for New Transport Planning

      Practices'.  http://www.geocities.com/transport_research/trbgen.htm


      How is the transport sector responding to the Gender Equality MDG?

      What interventions are taking place that seek to achieve this MDG in the

      transport sector?

      What impact do they have?

      What needs to happen in the transport sector for it to contribute to the

      achievement of the MDG?


      I hope these are a few questions and thoughts that will encourage you to

      respond to what I know will be a very important and lively debate over the

      next few days.


      Best regards



      Jeff Turner

      Independent Gender & Transport Consultant





      Dgroups is a joint initiative of Bellanet, DFID, Hivos, ICA, IICD, OneWorld, UNAIDS

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