Gender relations in public road transport in Africa
Mwangi, Samuel M
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SAMUEL M. MWANGI The entrepreneurial participation of women in the motorized transport sector in many African countries is limited. Determining the causal factors for the low participation of women in the sector has been the main objective of the current study. Gender-based challenges experienced by women in public road transport have also been looked into. Interventions that have been put into place internationally to mitigate harassment of women in public road transport have also been analyzed. The structural feminist theory was utilized for the analysis. The theory focuses on social structures, notably patriarchy and capitalism that oppress women. The study adopts the research design of a survey. Surveys are concerned with describing, recording, analyzing and interpreting conditions that either exist or existed. The researcher does not manipulate the variable or arrange for events to happen. Surveys are only concerned with conditions or relationships as they exist, opinions as they are held, processes as they are going on, effects as they are evident and trends as they develop. Three factors were found to cause the low participation of women in the IMT sector in Africa. They include historical reasons like colonialism, violence, and the sexual division of labour. A survey of gender relations in the public road transport in Nairobi, Kenya, was conducted. The study involved owners and workers from 10 matatu SACCOs in Nairobi. The study also sought the views of 30 female and 30 male commuters on gender based harassment in public transport in Nairobi. It was found that women workers comprise of about 4.95% of the workers in the sector. The average matatu ownership for the SACCOs sampled was found to be 1.99 matatus per member. However, a great difference emerges when one considers the ownership by male and female owners separately. Ownership ratio for male owners was found to be 2.096 while that of female owners was found to be 1.33. It was found that 73.1% of the matatu owners interviewed had worked in the matatu sector before in the positions of driver, or as conductors. This implies that by excluding women from working in the motorized public transport sector, women are, by extension disadvantaged with regard to ownership of property. Transport owners and workers were found to comprise powerful political lobbies in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana. Hence, the exclusion of women from participating in the transport sector disenfranchises women from the political and administrative opportunities associated with the field. The study found various gender differentials in the attitudes of men and women towards the matatu, suggesting that women’s travel needs are different form those of men and are hardly addressed in the male-dominated sector. A study of expressions of masculinity in the public transport sector in Africa is recommended.
University of Nairobi
Thesis Master of Arts in International Studies