The Road to COP27: Moving Forward with Urban MobilityOctober 24, 2022
La Rolita: An e-bus operator for Bogota that is environmentally friendly and feministMarch 8, 2023
Authors: Camilo Urbano, Despacio and Heba Attia Mousa, ICLEI
Urban logistics is one of the urban mobility fields that witnesses the most gender parity in the labour market. The field is interlinked with other areas of work where women have less access to the necessary skills and assets from the use of technology to access a safe mobility environment. In Europe, for instance, male transport workers make up 84% of the sector’s labour force, while women are only 16% of all workers (EU, 2019).
In the global south, where informal services cover part of the logistics chain, the challenges that face women’s entry into the market are increased. If we think of cycling logistics, the barriers facing women in the market are the combination of the individual and cultural barriers to cycling, as well as the challenges that would face women in the delivery of goods across different urban environments. Addressing the sector’s challenges for women can potentially improve women’s mobility and employability and add new voices to a market in transition.
Cycle logistics practices in Latin America
The recently released publication on the cycle logistics practices in Latin America (in Spanish) covers these challenges, among others. It offers an overview of piloted and tested solutions through the IKI Ecologistics Project.
In Bogota, BiciCarga raises the first steps for analyzing this issue that should be developed in more value chain links, not only to uncover the barriers experienced by women but also the gaps and opportunities for improvement in Bogota, as well as other Latin American cities.
Among the findings of the BiciCarga project, it is highlighted that the main barriers to working in riding a cargo bike are the risks female riders experience in their safety, such as being assaulted or robbed in public spaces. 94% of women interviewed for the BiciCarga project reported being sexually harassed in the course of their work by other drivers, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. Also, in the cases of Mexico City and Santiago de Chile, women drivers stated that these same factors are the barriers that discourage them from working in b Cyclelogistics activities.
There is a need for further study of the development and penetration of gender equity and inclusion policies in which women carry out Cyclelogistics activities, especially within private companies. One of the preliminary findings of the BiciCarga project in Bogota shows the need to strengthen these policies through greater formalization and dissemination by joint leadership between public and private actors in the value chain.
Women in cycling logistics in Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; and Santiago de Chile. Photos: Despacio & Claudio Olivares Medina