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Fernando, P and Porter, G eds. (1996) Balancing the Load: women, Gender and Transport. Zed Books: London : 1-291.

It is now familiar knowledge that tackling poverty must take account of policies to increase women's opportunities for micro-enterprise. In rural areas, that means access to markets and transport. Yet, 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.

This book draws together local level research from 15 countries across Asia and Africa, to help understand how gender affects men and women's access to transport, and what steps can be taken at community, provider and policy levels to improve the situation. It presents fascinating information about different forms of rural transport in diverse settings; the social roles transport plays; the uneven gender-influenced access to it; and the impacts poverty, culture and gender-insensitive provision have on women's lives in relation to transport. Of great practical importance are the various proposals the contributors, and those who discussed their findings in a series of workshops, make for tackling what can only be described as women's mobility poverty.

'A groundbreaking publication in many respects. This book explores in great detail issues relating to rural transport in Asia and Africa. But more importantly, it examines the gender dimensions in rural transport - highlighting the views, especially of women, that are often ignored and yet so important. The case study approach adopted by the researchers enables them to go deeper and reveal a range of issues that might not have been given attention to. An invaluable resource for those designing and implementing poverty alleviation programmes.' - Farai Samhungu, Regional Director, IPS Africa

'A timely and seminal work that comprehensively examines the complex relations between women, gender and transport. Its strength derives from the range and variety of case studies that demolish many of the stereotyped views of how women are affected by the transport sector. They illustrate clearly that mobility and access are key elements in determining women's ability to carry out their productive, as well as their reproductive, roles, and that their provision is far more complicated than is conventionally assumed.' - John Howe, author of Transport for the poor or poor transport?

'This is an important subject which to date has been largely ignored. Balancing the Load, therefore, is a very welcome contribution. It provides a comprehensive, detailed description, based on case studies, of the daily transport problems experienced by women around the world. Much of what it says may be obvious to gender experts -- but this is essential reading for transport planners and other development practitioners.' - Caroline Moser, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute


1. Introduction: Bridging the Gap between Gender and Transport - Priyanthi Fernando and Gina Porter

2. Social Exclusion and Rural Transport:
A road improvement project, Tshitwe, South Africa - Mac Mashiri and Sabina Mahapa

3. Intermediate Means of Transport and Gender Relations - Zimbabwe - Dorris Chingozho

4. Do Intermediate Means of Transport Reach Rural Women? Tanzania - Josephine A. Mwankusye

5. Bicycles, Boda Boda and Women's Travel Needs - Mpigi, Uganda - Harriet Iga

6. Gender and Safety in Rural Transport
Busia, Uganda - Kwamusi Paul

7. Bridges: The Impact on Travel and Market Activities - Nkone River Bridge, Meru, Kenya - P. G. Kaumbutho

8. Feeder Roads and Food Security - Darfur, Sudan - Suad Mustafa Elhaj Musa

9. Off-road Areas: A Gender Perspective on Transport and Accessibility - Women Traders in Gomoa, Ghana - Gina Porter

10. Road Rehabilitation: The Impact on Transport and Accessibility - Soba District, Kaduna State, Nigeria - Mohammed-Bello Yunusa, E. M. Shaibu-Imodagbe and Y. A. Ambi, with Aminu Yusuf and Binta Abdul Karim

11. Gender Needs and Access to Rural Transport - Tuya, Yatenga Province, Burkina Faso - Amadou Ouedraogo

12. Women's Empowerment and Physical Mobility: Implications for developing rural transport - Bangladesh - Nilufar Matin, Mahjabeen Mukib, Hasina Begum and Delwara Khanam

13. Cycling into the Future: The Pudukkottai experience - Tamil Nadu, India - Nitya Rao

14. Women, Water and Transport: Mapping the interplay - Banaskantha, Gujarat, India - Poorni Bid, Reema Nanavaty and Neeta Patel

15. A Forest Economy and Women's Transportation - Dumka District, Bihar, India - Nitya Rao

16. My Daily Odyssey: Transportation in the lives of SEWA Bank Clients - Ahmedabad, India - Sangita Shresthova, Rekha Barve and Paulomi Chokshi

17. From Dawn to Dusk: Transportation of Rural women to and from the metropolis - Calcutta, India - Mahua Mukherjee

18. Gender and Rural Transport Development - Chattra Deurali, Nepal - David Seddon and Ava Shrestha

19. Transport in the Mountains and the Terai - Kushiya Damrang and Shivpur, Nepal - Ganesh Ghimire

20. Cashcrops and Transport: Cashew growing and processing - Sri Lanka - Kusala Wettasinghe and Upali Pannila

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