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TRANSGEN — Result In Brief

Project ID: 36774
Funded under: FP6-SOCIETY
Country: Denmark

The complex role of gender in the transport sector

Using gender mainstreaming, European research has pinned down the reasons for gender inequality in the transport sector and has suggested how to redress this worrying imbalance.
The complex role of gender in the transport sector
Gender mainstreaming involves the assessment of implications of a policy action for women and men. This process can be applied in legislation and programmes at all levels. Transport research and policies offer an ideal opportunity to evaluate the impact of planning and policy implementation on gender role and input in a very wide area.

At present, the transport sector is a gendered work place. Statistics from the EU-funded Transgen project quote that female workers make up less than 20 % of the workforce in surface and water transport. Aggravating the situation, the sector is also dominated by male values.

Transgen aimed to advance the idea of gender mainstreaming by examining how goals in relation to gender equality can be ensured. In today's climate of multiple objectives – sustainable yet innovative while enhancing employment and competitiveness – it was also relevant to analyse how to link these goals with gender mainstreaming of the industry.

During networking, meetings and workshops, the Transgen advisory board, a high-level interdisciplinary group of European professionals, facilitated the exchange of ideas and experiences among academics, policymakers and politicians. The overarching theme was that there needs to be a balanced representation of men and women in transport's political and organisational structures.

Central to the recommendations is that there is an urgent need for more data and analysis surrounding the structural level in the transport sector. Moreover, to improve the competitiveness of the transport sector in employment, there needs to be more information on how gender issues are linked with organisational processes in different cultures.

The Transgen report stresses that implementation of equality programmes is the biggest challenge, not the actual development of gender inequality initiatives. To redress this imbalance, one step in the right direction is to view gender from a user perspective, integrating women's needs and values into transport policy.

The Transgen study has set the scene for changing the face of the transport sector to even out obvious gender inequality. For more information on progress in this pressing issue, there is a website available in English and Danish that is updated with current news and events at online.

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