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WRI India launches program to address gender disparities in urban mobility

‘Uddeshya: Towards Gender Responsive Urban Mobility Systems’ is a nationwide convening towards fostering gender-responsive mobility planning.

Delhi, March 4, 2024: WRI India hosted the second edition of its annual gender and mobility convening – Uddeshya: Towards Gender Responsive Urban Mobility Systems. Recognizing diverse mobility needs and fostering accessibility for all genders and communities are critical to ensuring social equity of transport systems while mitigating their environmental impacts.

Women grapple with multiple challenges whilst navigating a city. Women also tend to be more time-conscious and often run different errands on a single trip resulting in complex travel patterns. This difference in mobility patterns, and the need for safe and easily accessible transport options, not only affects women’s mobility but also impacts their autonomy, and access to education, work, and social participation.

Uddeshya aims to bridge these gaps by fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas and knowledge, along with supporting and recognizing critical initiatives and changemakers working to strengthen gender-responsive mobility in our cities.

Speaking at the plenary session at Uddeshya, Dr Hanif Qureshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries said, “Gender mainstreaming will not only positively impact the transport sector's development but also foster improved workplaces and social harmony. By promoting gender-friendly policies and overcoming existing hurdles, we aspire to enhance gender diversity and empower women throughout the EV value chain."

Inés Sánchez de Madariaga, Professor of Planning and Adjunct Director ETSAM, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and UNESCO Chair on Gender said, “Transport engineers usually categorise trips made for caregiving or maintenance of the house under leisure of personal trips. I coined the term ‘Mobility of Care’ in 2008 as a framework for recognizing, measuring and accounting for all the travel associated to home-related tasks.”

At the event, WRI India launched the EquiMobility Champions Program. Talking about the initiative, Pawan Mulukutla, Executive Program Director, Integrated Transport, Clean Air and Hydrogen, WRI India said, “Through the year-long EquiMobility Champions program, WRI India along with partners will select 10 changemakers from across India. The selected candidates will be trained in furthering gender-responsive mobility planning through mentorship from experts and stakeholder networks and will be supported in turning their ideas into impactful initiatives.”

Uddeshya 2024 also hosted an interactive walk-through exhibition, Moving in Their Shoes, showcasing different initiatives that integrate equity considerations into urban mobility and public space development. Some of the organizations presenting at the exhibition included Safetipin, The World Bank, The Urban Catalysts, Raahgiri Foundation, Akshara Centre, MOWO Social Initiatives and Alli Serona. Parallelly, more than 25 town planners, from across the country attended a closed-door masterclass on ‘Gender Mainstreaming in Urban Transport Systems’.

The day-long event capped off with the Uddeshya Awards, which felicitated organizations and individuals contributing to more equitable mobility systems. Winners of the awards included Vinutha VC, a loco pilot from Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), Vaidehi Ankolekar, a conductor from Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport, Mumbai and Saritha Ramkoti, a bus driver from Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) among others. Other winners of the award included the World Bank’s toolkit for gender-responsive mobility and Namma Yatri and BluSmart for their initiatives focused on improving women’s livelihood.

Uddeshya is organized by WRI India as part of the NITI Aayog-led NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA), which is supported through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Government. Supporting partners for Uddeshya include SafetiPin, the World Bank, OMI Foundation, the Urban Catalysts, Women Mobilize Women, Women on The Move, Nikore Associates and Raahgiri Foundation.

About NITI Aayog
NITI Aayog is a public policy think tank of the Government of India, established with the aim to achieve sustainable development goals with cooperative federalism by fostering the involvement of state governments of India in the economic policy-making process using a bottom-up approach. NITI Aayog is the anchor partner for the Forum for Decarbonising Transport in India as part of the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project. Know more:

About IKI
The IKI is an important part of the German government's international climate finance commitment. The IKI supports approaches in developing and emerging countries to implement and ambitiously develop the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) anchored in the Paris Agreement. This includes measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to conserve and rebuild natural carbon sinks, taking into account environmental, economic and social concerns. The IKI also supports its partner countries in achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The IKI is implemented by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection and the Federal Foreign Office. Know more:

The NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) is a multi-partner initiative that is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) which works under the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action of the German Government. Being undertaken in three Asian countries- India, China and Vietnam, the NDC-TIA aims to support transport decarbonization across Asia. As a part of the NDC-TIA, NITI Aayog and WRI India have created the forum for Decarbonizing Transport to catalyze and sustain stakeholder engagements to support policymaking for more ambitious transport action. Know more:

About WRI India
WRI India, an independent charity legally registered as the India Resources Trust, provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. Our work focuses on building sustainable and livable cities and working towards a low carbon economy. Through research, analysis, and recommendations, WRI India puts ideas into action to build transformative solutions to protect the earth, promote livelihoods, and enhance human well-being. We are inspired by and associated with World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organization. Know more:

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