Overcoming Gaps in Transport Access in the Middle East and North Africa: Share Your Views

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ImageTransport planning in MENA and other regions does not routinely address gender issues and sex disaggregated data is limited as is gender and transport expertise. In the MENA region, as in many other developing regions, women’s mobility is constrained by limited transport supply and also by social factors that can reduce the access of women to economic opportunities and voice in local decision-making. These constraints are greatest among the poor living in rural areas and the urban periphery.

Studies conducted in Casablanca, Morocco, Sana’a and rural Yemen, and the northern part of the West Bank in Palestine, summarized in a regional report on Gender and Transport in MENA, (Français) bring new knowledge about gender issues in the area and suggest the following key recommendations for improvement:

  • Promote routine analysis of gender and transport issues during transport planning and implementation;
  • Raise awareness on gender issues and build capacity for transport agencies and service operators;
  • Raise public awareness about women’s mobility needs with respect for local culture;
  • Focus on measures that will have strongest positive impact on availability, reliability, and quality of transport such as upgrading and maintaining rural roads and tracks, peri-urban streets and sidewalks to facilitate women’s as well as men’s travel by foot or walking to public transport stops, expanding coverage of transport services appropriate for females;
  • Increase affordability through measures such as fare integration between different modes of transport;
  • Promote traffic safety through pedestrian crossings and islands, overpasses, wide shoulders on rural roads to facilitate walking, stop lights, traffic signs, traffic bumps, and enforcement of traffic regulations;
  • Improve personal security through measures such as security officers and adequate lighting in terminals, on platforms, on buses and trains sidewalks, and bus stops;
  • Promote gender-informed transport policies, strategies, and regulations;
  • Promote gender-informed monitoring and evaluation.


Based on these recommendations, what do you suggest could be applied in your country? Please share your answers to the following questions discussed in a Videoconference on this topic:

  1. Which findings and recommendations are most applicable in your country? Why are these most relevant?
  2. Could one activity to enhance attention to gender in transport be implemented in your country with existing resources in the next year? For example, appointment of a gender and social focal point for transport planning; seek to sex-disaggregate all transport beneficiary data in transport surveys, baseline and other studies; sponsor gender awareness training for transport workers).
    Briefly describe the activity and the organizations that could be involved.

This blog was co-authored by Mari Clarke, Senior Gender Consultant to the World Bank.


Julie Babinard

Senior Transport Specialist

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