South Africa: Working for women’s mobility


The Michelin Corporate Foundation is backing an initiative launched by Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) aiming to reduce gender inequality in public transport.

Discriminating between women and men 

For women, travel can be a source of inequality and social exclusion, reinforcing existing differences between the sexes and inhibiting their potential for development. This situation exists in South Africa where the urban geography leads to long and inefficient travel patterns, creating special difficulties for women  such as long waiting times, travel during the hours of darkness and overcrowding in the rush hours. This exposes them to the risk of aggression. As a consequence, 56% of South African women have already been victims of violence in public transport. In addition, the inefficient transport system seriously inhibits women’s access to healthcare, education and leisure activities.

A pioneering report that defines, identifies and measures 

The need to address sexual inequality in the transport sector is a necessity, essential to the sustainable development agenda. This is why the Michelin Corporate Foundation was keen to back the pilot initiative conducted by Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) in South Africa. This worldwide multipartite consortium was created in 2017 under the auspices of the World Bank and brings together over 55 public and private bodies with the shared ambition of changing the future of mobility in the Southern Hemisphere.

More particularly, the Michelin Corporate Foundation has given financial support to an expert working party which has produced a report published by SuM4All entitled Sustainable Mobility in South Africa: Gender Mobility Evaluation and Roadmap for Action. This report is a major step forward in the program jointly managed by The World Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) and the South African authorities. It provides a documented analysis of the ‘blind spots’ associated with gender in public transportation policies and identifies the need for statistics to pinpoint and measure symptoms of exclusion more effectively. Its conclusions will serve to draw up recommendations for hard policy actions to be tried, tested and copied in other countries facing the same problems.

© SuM4All

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