News from the Campus

UN Women and World Bank launch course on gender equality in transportation

5 March 2021

Open-access online training programme empowers users to apply solutions to gender inequality and raise awareness

NEW YORK, 5 MAR 2021

A first-of-its-kind course by UN Women and the World Bank examines the often-invisible gender issues surrounding mobility in the transport sector. 

Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Barriers to transportation, and to jobs in the transport sector, mean diminished mobility and fewer opportunities for women. Limited access to jobs, health care and education is bad for everyone – women, girls and whole countries. Gendered mobility barriers take a significant toll on countries’ economic growth potential. A 2017 report by the International Labour Organization identifies a lack of transport as the greatest challenge to women’s labour force participation in developing countries – it lowers the probability of their participation by an estimated 16.5 per cent.


The COVID-19 crisis has made gender-related access issues even more urgent. As national and local governments revisit transport systems to make them more resilient and green, there is an increased focus on public transport, walking and cycling—already some of the most important modes of transportation for women. Failure to include women’s needs and voices in these plans is a missed opportunity to build back better.


The new course, Gender Equality in Transportation, moves us away from ‘gender-blind’ transport planning, which does not consider the mobility needs of its diverse range of users, particularly women and girls. It also looks at strategies that planners can use to address the difficulties women face in getting jobs and climbing the career ladder in transport, a sector dominated by men.


The course highlights the importance of approaching transport through a gender lens. It proposes practical solutions for enhancing inclusion and equality across the sector, balancing questions on ‘why’ this is vital with operational questions on ‘how ’we can do this.  The new training course also offers examples of concrete interventions designed to support the shift toward greater gender equality in transport.

This course was jointly prepared by the UN Women Training Centre, UN Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces Global Initiative, and the World Bank’s Transport Global Practice and Open Learning Campus.


Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

The course benefitted from funding from the Republic of Korea, specifically the country’ Ministry of Economy and Finance under the OLC’s Korea Programme for Operational Knowledge.

How to sign up: Visit to sign up for the course.