Gender Mainstreaming in the Rural Transport sector

Gender equality, equity and social inclusion are important cross-cutting research themes within the ReCAP programmeRural transport infrastructure and transport services can have significantly different impacts on men and women and many interventions in rural transport appear to be inclined to the needs of men. ReCAP launched the Gender Mainstreaming research initiative in 2015  with the aim of increasing the body of evidence for improving policy formulation and practices on gender mainstreaming in transport. The initiative comprised seven projects, exploring aspects of gender mainstreaming in relation to rural transport in different ReCAP partner countries, comprising Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nepal. 

Research themes

​Through a consultative process four research themes were developed, all to be studied within the rural transport sector:

  1. Transformative impact of gender mainstreaming at household, community and national levels.

  2. Transformative impact of gender mainstreaming within rural transport institutions.

  3. Potential for gender-focused rural transport initiatives be scaled-up and 'mainstreamed'.

  4. Methodologies, analytical frameworks and indicators to monitor effective gender mainstreaming.


Key findings and next steps

The research projects revolve around trying to understand why gender mainstreaming progress to date has so often been slow in the rural transport sector, despite national commitments to gender-sensitive planning and practice. The gender mainstreaming cluster characterises persistent themes which are evident on the ground in diverse country contexts, for instance women's time constraints (often including unpaid care work) that prevent their active participation in road construction and associated skills training;  women's lack of voice in key decision-making processes; inadequate monitoring of national gender mainstreaming regulations in transport projects; lack of women in technical and policy roles in the sector where they might offer strong role models; the perception that transport services operations are a male domain unsuited to women; women's lack of resources to pay transport fares; and concerns about male harassment when travelling.  

The projects have all been finalised and have provided fascinating and useful lessons for the rural transport sector at the national levels. Combining all the research lessons within a special volume of a peer-reviewed journal, currently under preparation, will lead to important wider international impacts of this research. Publication of the journal articles is foreseen for end of 2018/early 2019. 

Overview of the Cluster and key outputs

The ReCAP Gender Mainstreaming initiative comprises the following projects. Outputs can be downloaded straigth from the last column of the table. 

Project Title​Partner country​Implementation PartnerTheme(s)Outputs (click to download)
​Gender mainstreaming in rural road construction in Ethiopia: impacts and implications​Ethiopia​MetaMeta, the Netherlands​2Final Report 
Policy Brief
Scaling up gender mainstreaming in rural transport: analysis of policies, practices, impacts and monitoring processes​Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda​IFRTD, Kenya​3, 4Final Report
Policy Brief
Case study report: Ghana
Case study report: Kenya
Case study report: Tanzania
Case study report: Uganda
IFRTD e-Newsletter on Gender Mainstreaming
​Gender mainstreaming in rural transport sector in Kenya​Kenya​Tacitus Consultants, Kenya​2Final Report
Policy Brief
​Assessing opportunities and obstacles for gender mainstreaming in the motorcycle taxi sector in rural Sierra Leone and Liberia​Liberia, Sierra Leone​Swansea University, United Kingdom​1,3Policy Brief Liberia
Policy Brief Sierra Leone
​Gender mainstreaming in rural transport projects in Nepal: case studies of transformative roles of women and disadvantaged groups (DAGs) at household and community levelsNepal​​WISE Nepal, Nepal​1, 3, 4​Final Report
Policy Brief
​Transforming gender relations in the trail bridge programme in Nepal: an analysis of policies and practices​Nepal​Helvetas, Nepal​1, 4Final Report 
Policy Brief
​Impacts and implications of gender mainstreaming in the rural transport sector in Tanzania with particular reference to women with multi-dimensional vulnerabilities​Tanzania​HelpAge International, Tanzania​1, 3Final Report
Policy Brief