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Balancing the Load: Women, Gender and Transport
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Balancing the Load: Women, Gender and Transport (Hardback)

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It is now a truism that tackling poverty requires paying special attention to women, and to increasing their opportunities to improve their livelihoods. In rural areas, that means access to markets and services, and to the transport needed to reach them. Yet, as this unique investigation of the relationship between gender and rural transport graphically shows, transport policy makers and providers have paid almost no attention to gender equity, and gender researchers in development have seldom examined the crucially important role which transport plays in women's lives.

The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development has now remedied this lacuna. It commissioned research at local level across some 15 countries in Asia and Africa. This volume assembles these studies with a view to understanding how gender affects men and women's differential access to, and need for, transport; and what steps can be taken at community, provider and policy levels in order to improve the situation.

This book presents fascinating information about the different forms of rural transport in diverse settings; the social roles transport plays; the uneven gender-influenced access to it; and the impacts which poverty, culture and gender-insensitive provision have on women's lives so far as transport is concerned. It highlights the views of women, often ignored and yet so important, for solutions to what can only be described as women's mobility poverty.

Priyanthi Fernando is the Executive Secretary of the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD), a global network of people and organisations promoting greater investment in transport for rural women and men. She was formerly the Country Director for Intermediate Technology Development Group in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She is a member of several women's organisations and networks including the Lanka Mahila Samiti and the Sri Lanka Women's Conference in Sri Lanka and the Gender and Development Network in the UK. Gina Porter is a geographer by training. She worked in the Nigerian universities for ten years and is currently based in the Department of Anthropology, University of Durham, where she is Senior Research Fellow. Her research on rural transport, marketing and labour issues has been published in a wide range of international development and geography journals, including World Development, Review of African Political Economy, Journal of Developing Areas, Journal of Transport Geography, Journal of Development Studies, Antipode, and Geographical Journal.

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