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Gendered politics in rural roads : gender mainstreaming in Tanzania's transport sector.

Mulongo, Godfrey and Porter, Gina and Tewodros, Amleset (2019) 'Gendered politics in rural roads : gender mainstreaming in Tanzania's transport sector.', Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - transport., 173 (2). pp. 87-96.


This paper explores the impacts of gender mainstreaming initiatives in Tanzania's transport sector on the everyday reality of rural women's lives, including those facing multiple forms of discrimination. Using qualitative methods, including co-investigation with community members, data were triangulated from diverse sources: vulnerable women and other residents in two Tanzanian districts, road contractors, professionals engaged in supporting the country's transport programmes and staff in donor agencies. The results indicate that progress in mainstreaming has been slow. Despite government directives, few women have benefitted from employment in road construction except through two national programmes: the Village Travel and Transport Programme and the Tanzania Social Action Fund. However, most women, particularly those disadvantaged, derive benefit from road improvement, even if only as pedestrians or wheelchair users taking advantage of a smoother surface, or better travel security when vegetation is cut back. For women with the funds and independence to access the expanded transport services that tend to follow road improvements, there can be significant benefits – faster travel, improved access to farms and markets and sometimes lower transport costs. Nevertheless, women's constrained resources and prevailing cultural mores continue to militate against them directly operating transport, whether for personal or business use.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Date accepted:26 February 2019
Date deposited:25 March 2020
Date of first online publication:13 April 2019
Date first made open access:25 March 2020

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