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'A groundbreaking publication in many respects. This book explores in great detail issues relating to rural transport in Asia and Africa. But more importantly, it examines the gender dimensions in rural transport - highlighting the views, especially of women, that are often ignored and yet so important. The case study approach adopted by the researchers enables them to go deeper and reveal a range of issues that might not have been given attention to. An invaluable resource for those designing and implementing poverty alleviation programmes.' - Farai Samhungu, Regional Director, IPS Africa 'A timely and seminal work that comprehensively examines the complex relations between women, gender and transport. Its strength derives from the range and variety of case studies that demolish many of the stereotyped views of how women are affected by the transport sector. They illustrate clearly that mobility and access are key elements in determining women's ability to carry out their productive, as well as their reproductive, roles, and that their provision is far more complicated than is conventionally assumed.' - John Howe, author of Transport for the poor or poor transport? 'This is an important subject which to date has been largely ignored. Balancing the Load, therefore, is a very welcome contribution. It provides a comprehensive, detailed description, based on case studies, of the daily transport problems experienced by women around the world. Much of what it says may be obvious to gender experts -- but this is essential reading for transport planners and other development practitioners.' - Caroline Moser, Research Fellow, Overseas Development InstituteReseña del editor:
It is now a truism that tackling poverty requires paying special attention to women, and to increasing their opportunities to improve their livelihoods. In rural areas, that means access to markets and services, and to the transport needed to reach them. Yet, as this unique investigation of the relationship between gender and rural transport graphically shows, transport policy makers and providers have paid almost no attention to gender equity, and gender researchers in development have seldom examined the crucially important role which transport plays in women's lives. The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development has now remedied this lacuna. It commissioned research at local level across some 15 countries in Asia and Africa. This volume assembles these studies with a view to understanding how gender affects men and women's differential access to, and need for, transport; and what steps can be taken at community, provider and policy levels in order to improve the situation. This book presents fascinating information about the different forms of rural transport in diverse settings; the social roles transport plays; the uneven gender-influenced access to it; and the impacts which poverty, culture and gender-insensitive provision have on women's lives so far as transport is concerned. It highlights the views of women, often ignored and yet so important, for solutions to what can only be described as women's mobility poverty.
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