On the Engender: Gender Matters in Public Transport
This month's episode of On the Engender, Scotland's feminist policy podcast, our host Alys Mumford is joined by some excellent feminist voices to take a deep dive into why gender matters in public transport.
Here she writes on her passion for public transport and why it's so important, even if it's not always the first gendered issue to come to mind:
Whenever my sister in law visits me, she brings a copy of 'the Buzzer', Vancouver's public transport pamphlet. When the Borders' Railway reopened, a friend and I made use of it on the first weekend it was running. When I travelled to Dublin to campaign for #Repealthe8th, I chose a 10 hour bus and boat journey over flying. And I still proudly carry my platinum ticket from the first day of the Edinburgh trams. So it's probably fair to say that I fall fairly firmly into the category of public transport geek.
But you don't have to reach my levels of geekery to recognise that our transport systems do very little to challenge gender inequality. We'll all have noticed the problems with bus services which don't connect with each other, meaning a late-night wait in an unfamiliar part of town; the difficulty of buggy-negotiations when there's only standing space on the train; the contradictions of public service adverts which blame women both for getting taxis, and for walking home.
It might not be the first thing people think of when they're talking about women's equality, but whether people are talking about violence against women, employment, childcare, health, or any other areas of transport plays a key role. So that's why I'm really pleased that the latest episode of On the Engender focuses on gender and transport. Engender's Emma Ritch and Jill Wood are joined by Suzanne Motherwell from sustainable transport charity Sustrans, as we talk about transport systems, women's representation, nationalisation and data (always data).
Listen to the episode below or wherever you get your podcasts, and as always, let us know what you think on #OnTheEngender.
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