Jämställdhet i samrådsprocesser vid svenska vägprojekt: genusperspektiv på annonsering, deltagande och mötesinteraktion vid samråd med allmänheten

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Charlotta Faith-Ell
Elina Engelbrektsson
Emmy Dahl
Susanna Nilsson
Mine Yazar

Research on gender equality and transportation has to a small amount studied participation of women and men in public hearings concerning large infrastructure projects. Previous measures show that men dominate the hearings and that the average age among the participants is high. Public participation is a process that starts in the beginning of the planning of a road project and should run through the whole planning process.  Among the basic principles of public participation it is argued that public participation should be inclusive and equitable. The aim with the public hearings is also to take care of various arguments and ideas about the new road. The public hearings are often carried out as large information meetings or open house meetings.

The aim of the current research project is to investigate how the hearings in Swedish road planning are practiced, who are attending the meetings and how do they express themselves at the meetings. The research project studied participation of women and men on totally 16 meetings arranged by the Swedish Road Administration during 2007 and 2008. The aim is also to increase gender equality in the public participation process. The project contains three different studies:

  1. An explorative study which shows that 26 per cent of the participants were women. The women who attended the meetings were more active than the men; they asked more questions in proportion to the number of attending women. Both women and men said they were confident with the information at the meetings. Counting the spoken time (of questions and answers) in seconds shows that men who talked at the meetings did longer speech turns and argued a lot more for their opinions.
  2. A separate study was created to investigate the announcements to the meetings. The announcement study showed that most of the announcements were created from a template that was rather technically oriented.
  3. In an intervention study that finished the project, the researchers interacted and changed the form of the announcements to a more dialogically oriented approach. Thus a few more women attended the meetings (32 per cent). Also, more middle aged and older people attended the meetings in the intervention study.

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