Mobility Strategies Must Address Gender EqualityBy Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 05/20/2020 - 11:02
Improving urban mobility implies identifying and meeting the needs of public transportation users. In Mexico City, according to INEGI, people who identify themselves as females represent 51 percent of public transportation users. UN women reported that in 2019, nine out of 10 women declared to have suffered some type of gender violence in public transportation. In fact, Mexico City’s Human Rights Commission, reported in 2017 a lack of coordination between urban mobility planning and meeting women’s needs, a trend that is very much replicated throughout Latin America.
Given the fact that public transportation is the second place where women suffered violence the most, Mexico City’s Ministry of Mobility is addressing this phenomenon in its mobility strategy. "Gender inequality, harassment and other forms of violence against women in public transportation and public space should be understood as public issues that should be a priority for the Mexico City Government,” the document says.
Most risk situations in public transportation are due to the lack of coordinated public policy efforts and long-term strategies. One of the guidelines in Mexico City's mobility strategy is to "design and implement an integral strategy on preventing and attending harassment and gender violence in all mobility nodes within Mexico City." The state government expects to conduct public education campaigns for operators and other personnel. In addition, infrastructure and equipment will be developed across different points to increase security levels for female users. These actions will be conducted alongside Mexico City's Ministry for Women.
This initiative is aligned with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Territorial and Urban Development’s (SEDATU) priorities to improve infrastructure conditions in urban areas to address gender inequality. "What we aim for is a public space that is an option for women, with public works that promote the reconstruction of social tissue, provide security and help in community development," said Deputy Minister for Urban Development and Livelihood, Carina Arvizu.
With different stakeholders, including UN agencies and the National Institute for Women (Inmujeres), SEDATU held a meeting on how public spaces can tackle gender gaps. UN-Habitat Specialist, Eugenia de la Grazia, highlighted the need for urban areas to address more equitable conditions after COVID-19. UN-Habitat has promoted the concept of a 15-minute city, in which individuals can work and engage in recreational activities, livelihood and public services within a 15-minute transportation ratio, thus increasing quality of life.
Mexico City’s integrated public transportation system has implemented initiatives such as pink cars, where a single wagon or part of a bus is accessible only to women to prevent gender violence. High gender violence levels in public transportation have economic and social impact as women, who can afford it, are preferring ride-hailing options.