International Women’s Day (8th March 2021) – Women in Transport

By Conall Martin / Updated: 06 Mar 2021

International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021 is a global day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Many events will be taking place to celebrate this day, including a webinar run by Ramboll Smart Mobility on their new green paper “Gender and (Smart) Mobility”. The webinar will include a panel women and men representing a range of stakeholders in the mobility sector. Further information on this event can be found here, and on the event website.

Another event taking place on 18 March is a webinar from the DIAMOND project, exploring fairness for women and users of surface transport services. Further information can be found here.

International Women’s Day also provides an opportunity to take a look back at recent developments and celebrate women in the transport and urban mobility space:

  • The Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) published a report ‘21Heroes2021’ in February of this year. 2020 presented many challenges, with COVID-19 upending daily life and bringing transportation to a halt with the implementation of lockdowns. However, with many people working hard to address the healthcare and economic crises, members of the international transport community stepped up with key solutions to keep transport systems running. ‘21Heroes21’ honours a selection of those who, in the face of historic challenges, laid the groundwork for even more successful and sustainable mobility initiatives. The report recognises the considerable achievements of many women, including Karima Delli (Chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism) and Elke Van den Brandt (Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety, Belgium).
  • In September 2020, the European Platform on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) published a topic guide on ‘Addressing Gender Equity and Vulnerable Groups in SUMPs’. As cities grow and develop, so does the need for gender-responsive and inclusive transport systems. In the context of COVID-19, the consideration of diversity and different needs in transport planning is more important than ever. As such, the topic guide offers guidance for local authorities and mobility practitioners, enabling the design of balanced, socially inclusive and gender-equitable places to live and travel in.
  • Elsewhere, EMT Madrid – the municipal transport company of the Spanish capital – established a “Women and Safe Transport” Observatory in December 2020. The aim of this initiative is to study the ways in which women use public transport to then identify and implement measures to promote the safety of women when they use public transport. The Observatory will hold at least two annual meetings, both of which have been planned for particularly relevant dates, indeed, the first of which is International Women’s Day. The second meeting is planned for 25 November 2021 which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
  • Within the European Commission’s Urban Mobility Days Digital Conference which took place online between in October 2020, a dedicated Eltis Training Session was offered on “Planning for vulnerable to exclusion user groups: how to make your SUMP more inclusive for all”. The session was led by a team from TRT (Italy). It provided insights, methodologies and tools focusing on areas including knowledge and understanding of the needs and behaviour of vulnerable categories.

Further information on all of the above can be found on the following websites:


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