Methods and tools for gender mainstreaming in Swedish transport planning

Charlotta Faith-Ell

Gender mainstreaming has been the Swedish government's strategy for gender equality policies since the Government Bill Shared Responsibility came into effect in 1993–1994. A transport policy objective of gender equality was introduced in 2001 and modified in 2009. How gender equality in transport should be interpreted and clarified has been discussed and studied by various operators since its introduction. A characteristic feature in many discussions has been a focus on differences in men's and women's travel patterns. Differences in travel patterns have been interpreted to mean that women and men have different values and needs. However, these over-simplifications both of men’s and women’s travel patterns and of their mobility needs often result in stereotypes.

The aim of this paper is to bring in a critical approach to generalisation of men’s and women’s travel patterns. The purpose is to present a method of how to work with gender mainstreaming in transport planning, and to provide tools to make systematic gender impact assessments adapted to the Swedish context of gender mainstreaming.[1]

The method we propose is based on methods and quality requirements similar to those existing in the fields of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and social impact assessment (SIA)[2]. That is: the method should be appropriate, effective, knowledge-based and open to participation and criticism.• Appropriate means it should be useful as a knowledge base for planning and decision. Consequences should be discernible, and key issues (project-based and business-based) should be clearly defined. • Effective means it can be implemented systematically, and can be structured with the intention of affecting the planning and project solution. It also means that resources should be available in terms of time and money.• Knowledge-based means that it should be based on rationality and professionalism. It should be designed according to good scientific practice and implemented using methods and techniques that are applicable. • Open means that discussions should take place both within the project organization and in open consultation. These discussions should be included in the reports produced and in the decision making process.

[1] Faith-Ell, C., & Levin, L. (2013). Kön i trafiken. Jämställdhet i kommunal transportplanering [Gender Mainstreaming. Guidance for Regional and Local Transport Planners]. Stockholm: SKL, Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting.

[2] Vanclay, F. & Esteves, A.M. (2012). New Directions in Social Impact Assessment. Conceptual and Methodological Advances. Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar.

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