The Case for Gender Mainstreaming in Transportation Planning
Ania McDonnell, a public policy graduate student at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, writes from personal experience with harassment on public transportation: "Transportation planners should be required to implement gender mainstreaming in all comprehensive plans created for the city."
McDonnell references the authoritative definition of gender mainstreaming provided by UN Women:
The process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetrated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality.
For planners, gender mainstreaming will require a new focus. For most its history, according to McDonnell, planners have neglected to consider the social aspects of the systems they created. According to McDonnel, gender mainstreaming would have several effects for mobility:
- Reduce vehicle congestion on highways because more women will use public transportation.
- Reduce the costs of police on public transportation.
- Allow for more targeted and efficient use of police time and energy to ensure safety on the light rail.