Barriers to Women's Mobility

Lead Research Organisation: Coventry University
Department Name: Ins for Future Transport & Cities

Abstract

A fundamental issue in sustainable development is enabling those who lives and well being are at stake to be involved in decision making and lead the way through collective action and engagement. The centrality of gender equality, women's empowerment and the realization of women's rights in achieving sustainable development has been recognized (for example in the Rio Declaration of Environment and Development, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development). Women are critical agents in building more equitable, safer and sustainable societies.
Women in LMICs experience multiple levels of deprivation. They face constraints due to socio-cultural norms that deny them equal access to facilities and opportunities . They have limited access to resources; restricted rights, limited mobility and a muted voice in shaping decisions. They are under-represented and under-utilised in the economy and labour market and tend to predominate as unpaid family workers in agriculture, and hold low paid, low skill jobs and at the lowest tiers of the industrial labour force in urban areas. Pakistan ranks 128 out of 182 on Human Development Index (2010), 124 out of 155 on Gender Development Index (2009) and 132 out of 134 on the Global Gender Gap Report (2009). Malaysia ranked 111th (out of 145) on the Global Gender Gap Index for 2015, with an especially poor rating in the political arena. The UK, whilst in the top 20 (2016), is falling with women having 58% of the economic opportunity and 23% of political empowerment. Improving gender equality could add £150 billion to UK GDP.
Lack of access to basic opportunities is detrimental to women's social, economic and physical and psychological well being. A crucial element to reducing social exclusion is providing equitable accessibility (ease of reaching) to opportunities. A first step in this journey is to remove barriers to mobility (defined as the 'ease of moving'). THE ILO stated that 'transport remains a neglected area among gender specialists and transport specialists are still reluctant to take on gender issues. Until this is done, the prospects for many women who live in areas characterized by poor physical accessibility and inadequate transport will remain poor' .
The overall aim of the proposed network is to provide a forum for knowledge exchange, training and cooperative working and learning:
1.to understand, using empathic design methods, the mobility barriers faced by women in Malaysia and Pakistan,
2 to co-design culturally sensitive solutions, policies and strategies to address these problems
3 to consider the usefulness of EU sustainable urban mobility planning processes in increasing consultation and user engagement in the design of master plans
4 to raise awareness of the effects of inaccessible transport on women and sustainable cities and communities.

Working together on these 4 issues in an 18 month project will provide opportunities for the network:
1. to grow and link to other national and international organisations,
2. to develop an understanding of cultural differences with respect to mobility
3. to test its ability to work together and provide evidence of co-operative activity to draw on for future bid applications
4. to transfer knowledge and best practice
5. to acquire data for joint publications

Empathic design methods will be introduced to Pakistan and Malaysia as a means of evidencing the lived experience of women. These will provide a basis for increased cultural understanding, and help in empowerment and presentation of clear evidence to policy makers. Network activities will culminate in co-design workshops with users, operators and policy makers as a means of exploring 'design led approaches' to user engagement. These will be presented to transport operators, planners and policy makers, and used to inform course design.

Planned Impact

The network of researchers in UK, Malaysia and Pakistan will act as a catalyst for research on barriers to women's mobility. Network activities are designed to provide opportunities for;
1. increasing awareness of the effects of barriers to women's mobility in LMICs
2. applying design research methods to increase engagement of women in mobility planning and as service users
3. co-designing culturally sensitive and context specific solutions to perceived barriers to mobility with women and other stakeholders
4. development of information packs for local, national and international audiences
5. knowledge sharing and collaborative working

Beneficiaries
1. Women in LMICs. The network will directly engage with female transport users in culturally appropriate ways and present their stories to stakeholders and the wider community.Co-design activities will be used to empower women and design used to present their mobility needs in compelling ways. Barriers to women's mobility reduces access to opportunities and effects quality of everyday life . However it still does not feature, per se in GCRF challenges areas. The network outputs will begin to redress this.
2. Transport planners, providers and operators will benefit 1)through direct participation in co-design workshops, listening to stories and engaging empathic modelling 2) as recipients of information packs containing information to aid gender mainstreaming 3) broadening of empathic horizons 4) exposure to validated approach to sustainable urban mobility planning. The network will collate information and use this, together with culturally specific knowledge to produce policy notes, information packs and best practice guidelines for each country. These will be based around authentic stories in each country and co-designed solutions to perceived barriers. These will be used to not only provide concrete examples of step changes needed to reduce mobility barriers but to highlight the use of co-design in user engagement.
3. Wider academic community through access to social media websites, publications and training. Research communities in UK and EU will benefit by increased understanding of mobility and urban planning in LMICs and the use of co- and empathic design engagement in transport planning. Knowledge derived from the network will be highly highly relevant to current EU/international debates regarding inclusivity, implementation, gender mainstreaming, accessibility, mobility as a services (MaaS) and difficulties of user engagement.
4. Network members (and associated institutions) through training in design research methods (not widely used in LMICs for user engagement), knowledge sharing, joint publications and design outcomes enabling them to embed new methods in their practice.
5. Social capital of neighbourhood and community groups will be increased through workshops and other activities. It is hoped that new sustainable, low cost solutions will be developed which have traction with planners, operators and new market entrants.
An impact evaluation plan will be drawn up. Impact will be evaluated by organisations who have provided letters of support, participants, number of readers and quality of contributions , actionability and relevance of outputs for different beneficiary groups, uptake and investment in user engagement methods as a means of empowering women in decision making and as transport users.
The duration and scope of the network will be made transparent to all participants. Resources will be provided to maintain social media after the conclusion of the network and the outcomes will feed into HEI courses. The consolidation stage outputs will be used to challenge lack of gender mainstreaming, user engagement and consideration of women as transport users, with information packs evidencing the benefits of reducing barriers to women's mobility. The team will also look for funding streams to support future work such as Newton Funding.
 
Title Nurturepod 
Description During the course of travel for WEMOBILE, we discussed and made visual records of the lack of support for breastfeeding mothers while they were traveling (e.g. in airports). Facilities that were provided were a sterile adjunct to toilet spaces. Some breastfeeding pots have been produced but with no style, visual aesthetic or warmth to make a mother feel that she and her baby are special. The designs lack empathy. The PI and a design colleague from Coventry (Paul Magee)have developed a design concept, based around an egg/acorn shape, which meets the requirements of breastfeeding mum,s providing them with a safe and special space 
Type Of Art Artefact (including digital) 
Year Produced 2019 
Impact We have sought advice from our IP department at Coventry and have applied for design registration in classes 10 and 20 as a minimum. It should be around infant feeding, relaxation spaces, large transport concourses. There are possible related products including fragrance, an app, a blanket and natural audio recordings (the space is a tubular chamber so my expectation is something of a shell acoustic). In large spaces multiple of the pods can be deployed, creating a nurture forest, which links nicely to the design being derived from an acorn sketch and is how we are planning to present the idea at a conference in Amsterdam in July. We have applied to present a paper on this at the Design4health conference in Amsterdam in July 2020. We are also applying for grants to develop the idea further - ie build a model at Coventry. However, we are currently taking advice from our IP department on the extent to which this can be publicized prior to looking for industrial sponsorship. for this reason, it has not been included as a design output on our website 
 
Description WEMOBILE investigated gender transport poverty in the Low - Middle Income Countries of Pakistan and Malaysia, addressing two of the UN's Global Goals for Sustainable Development: (i) achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls; (ii) make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The all female team conducted study visits in Lahore (Pakistan) , Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) and Coventry, working collaboratively to capture the everyday travel experiences of women to understand their mobility problems.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we found significant differences between Malaysia and Pakistan. Although both classified as LMICs, the status, freedom and mobility of women in Malaysia, along with the transport system is significantly better, although not without its problems. In terms of significant achievements, we have demonstrated
1. From a methodological perspective;
a. The value of authentic narratives and experiences in understanding the implications of gender inequality and gender transport poverty.
b. The risks and challenges of undertaking qualitative research (eg filming, ethnographic studies and participatory observations) in countries with little gender equality and respect for women.
c. Additional insights provided by analysing gender transport poverty through a systemic lens
2. Contributions to knowledge in transport poverty. It has been previously acknowledged that women are more disadvantaged by transport poverty then men. This has not received a lot of attention. We have identified the added psychological strains placed on women when;
a. They are subjected to continual hostility, physical, psychological and sexual harassment in the public realm and on transport requiring hypervigilance.
b. Transport provision is inadequate and privileges men (e.g. women are allocated 1/3 of space on buses, pay higher fares for on-demand transport, not allowed to use motorbikes or walk in the streets). Where women have to wait for long periods of time at bus stops, they will be subjected to harassment.
c. They are denied agency (i.e. freedom to travel outside their home) e.g. to work, to visit friends.
d. They are permitted to take paid employment but still have to manage all household and carers duties for the family. This is known as the 'dual burden', which required women working upto 8 hours extra day, arranging employment and travel around the needs of their family.
e. There is a lack of safety and security. It is acknowledged that the streets and public transport are dangerous for women. A woman going out may be blamed for putting herself in a position where she attracts unwanted attention or is in danger. To avoid this, any trips have to be carefully planned and agreed with family members, male chaperones may be required and public transport avoided (meaning journeys will cost more). If problems arise, permission future travel may be denied.
3. Recommendations and policy directions include:
a. Use of existing laws to protect women's rights.
b. Investment in pedestrian infrastructure.
c. Use of gender mainstreaming and gender action planning in transport to make this an example of best practice in LMICs, which can be followed by other departments
d. Collaborative working across all agencies.
Exploitation Route The outcomes of the award can be taken forward by stakeholders in different ways
1. General public and NGOs. We have provided material on the website which can be used to stimulate discussions and create pop up installations/safe places for women to talk about their mobility problems. Most of outputs are highly visual - to stimulate conversations
2. Designers and transport planners. We have demonstrated through system maps and research analysis of surveys and focus group discussions, ways in which gender transport poverty effects the everyday lives of women in Malaysia and Pakistan. This has revealed a series of issues which can easily be resolved through planning and better transport service provision eg training of drivers, women's only areas, better lighting.
3. Policy makers. We have put forward suggestions as to how to reduce gender transport poverty using gender mainstreaming and gender action planning, and through the adoption of wider planning activities across the city (eg adoption of the equivalent of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans).
4. For the wider research community we have produced and delivered a number of outputs - mainly at conferences - which we hope to turn into REF'ble submissions in due course.
All of these show a profound gap in understanding gender transport poverty in LMICs, especially in Pakistan, in relation to 1) the dual burdens of women - where women are allowed to work, they still have to do all the housework /caring activities (resulting in an extra 8 hours unpaid work, on top of paid employment and long, stressful journeys), 2) their lack of agency (i.e. cannot go out the house without seeking permission/chaperones and then never for leisure purposes. 3) the pervasiveness of women;s fear in public spaces, the need for hypervigilance and reluctance to speak of harrassment for fear of more restrictions.
We have demonstrated how systemic design research approaches can be used to tease out interconnections in gender transport poverty and why current attempt fail. However, despite some enthusiasm in Pakistan (and progress in Malaysia), the level of gender inequality and the disrespect of women is intense. There is an opportunity for transport innovation to start to address this, but many women acknowledged no progress would be made in their lifetime. So while there are significant opportunities for knowledge transfer eg gender mainstreaming and gender action planning, more preliminary work is needed before this can even be attempted.
5. Design registration has been made for one project output, for which further funding is being sought to develop full scale models.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport

URL http://mymobilitymatters.org/
 
Description TInnGo: Transport Innovation Gender Observatory
Amount € 3,979,502 (EUR)
Funding ID European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no 824349 
Organisation European Commission H2020 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 11/2018 
End 11/2021
 
Description Elected as council member to ENOLL 
Organisation European Network of Living Labs
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution ENOLL is the European Network of Living Labs. Based on this project and related work, Coventry University has renewed its membership of ENOLL, and I have been elected as council member to the organisations This will bring together a series of work on codesign from across the university, based firstly around mobility, and can be used to further showcase our work and join an extensive network and influence future codesign projects and EU policy
Collaborator Contribution This is a new collaboration.
Impact I will be attending my first meeting in February 2020. See https://mailchi.mp/6d10d1ab1e5a/dt53l0ppw3-2695439?e=f08d281638 for evidence of my welcome on to the council
Start Year 2019
 
Description Drinks reception and exhibition at Coventry University 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was an event held at the last knowledge exchange event in Coventry. The research team displayed the results of their work int he form of a pop up exhibition, based arpind informal conversational spaces.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://mymobilitymatters.org/uk/
 
Description Focus groups held in Malaysia to discuss gender transport poverty with stakeholders 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Keynote presentations were made. round table, focussed discussions were held with groups to discuss gender related mobility issues in Malaysia with a view to heightening awareness and barriers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://womenmobility.com/malaysia/#Indigenous%20Cultural%20Village
 
Description Focus groups in Covevntry fab lab elicting problems of transport in Coventry for female users 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The focus groups were held with local women and women from minority groups, The aim of the session was to provide colleagues from Malaysia, Pakistan and US insights into the problems and freedoms women experience in Coventry in contrast to their countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Komal Faiz (2019). Stories & Drinks Night: Building Bridges. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Stories & Drinks Night, where speakers share stories about the unexpected adventures in design -- without any type of audiovisual support!

Stories inspire us and fuel us. Storytelling is the common language of the human experience. As designers and those in design-adjacent fields, stories are the best ways to learn from one another. That's why we're excited to invite you to the first Stories & Drinks Night.

Our goal is to create a platform where people gather to break silos and make meaningful connections. Through stories, we hope you'll connect with like-minded people and perhaps share something with unusual suspects. Because that's where the best collaborations happen. The first story night coincides with the Service Design Global Conference 2019, to build bridges between local and international design communities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.com/e/stories-drinks-night-building-bridges-tickets-73905540461#
 
Description Komal Faiz' s you tube channel 'Women who travel' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was inspired by the research and is hopefully a launchpad for Komal to start a social enterprise/business supporting women's mobility
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkS26k0s-94qoJogUDzdOqQ?view_as=public
 
Description Komal Faiz, Women's mobility talk at Radical Research Summit 2019 (Vancouver). 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact WEMOBILE, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, was a collaborative, global project which brought together 6 design researchers from the UK, Pakistan, and Malaysia. We spent 18 months, traveling to these countries together to experience and understand barriers to women's mobility, using auto-ethnographic, participatory, and empathic design methods. The journey not only brought in powerful insights about the issue but also informed our practice as design researchers collaborating at a global scale.

Through this talk, I will share learnings from our journey and insights on women's mobility, building a case towards why it should matter to change-makers, leaders, and women around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://soundcloud.com/komal-faiz/womens-mobility-talk-at-radical-research-summit-2019-vancouverby-k...
 
Description Komal Faiz, invited speaker at the DesignTO Symposium: A Future without Work happening on Saturday, January 25, from 1pm to 5pm at George Brown College. Toronto; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLp_Q56JG94&t=1s 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact DesignTO's fifth annual symposium brings nine multidisciplinary experts into one room for an inspiring discussion on a Future without Work, covering topics such as the Indigenous workforce, meaning of work, space of work, labour markets, economic systems, and other thought-provoking topics. Speakers include Jonas Altman, Antonio Cesare Iadarola, Komal Faiz, Keith Jones, Symon Oliver, Heather Russek and Jessica Thornton, and Lexi Tsien, with a keynote talk by Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute.

-

For most of us, it is impossible to imagine a society without work, because it dominates and permeates every aspect of our lives. Whether you consider work as a source of subsistence or purpose, the sacredness of work runs deep through both past and present social interactions, economy, and politics. An obsession with work lies at the core of our education system. The labour force drives our national economies. Working to earn a living is often a necessity and expectation. It can offer individuals a sense of purpose, providing opportunities for learning, growth, and prosperity. It gives status, and thereby access to many benefits and networks. Work shapes our lives and identity.

Globalization, demographic shifts, and technology are constantly and fundamentally shaping work and society. If the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence continues to change the nature of jobs, it's possible we could live in an era of mass unemployment. If the price of automation continues to decline, innovation continues to be democratized, and renewable energy continues to be unlocked, we could also live in an age of abundance, where many of life's necessities and luxuries will become widely available to us.

----
Komal Faiz, Lead UX Researcher, Zensurance

Breaking barriers: The future of women's mobility
WEMOBILE, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, was a collaborative, global project which brought together six researchers from the UK, Pakistan, and Malaysia to understand barriers to women's mobility, using auto-ethnographic, participatory, and empathic methods. Through this talk, Faiz will share insights on women's mobility and how it can inform and impact the future of work for women, building a case towards why it should matter to change-makers, leaders, and women around the world.

So, what is a future without work as we know it?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://designto.org/meet-the-designto-symposium-speakers-komal-faiz
 
Description World cafe held in Pakistan to discuss gender transport poverty with stakeholders in Pakistan 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This was a one day event held by Design Pak to which all the projector were invited along with representatives from the local community, included Careem owners, policy makers, women's groups. There was a small exhibition and a panel discussion aimed at raising awareness of geneder transport issues in Pakistan
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://womenmobility.com/pakistan/