Mobility by women, for everyone. Participation and gender mainstreaming in sustainable mobility policies in Lyon, France
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As women entered the employment market, they also entered men’s traditional space: the public space. Their mobility is made more complicated by spaces and services not regarding on their needs, which are different than men’s. This is especially true for sustainable mobilities, such as public transport, the biking practice and walking. These observations thus enter in contradiction with the push towards these sustainable mobilities made at the expense of the private car, which generally fits better with women’s gendered role of care- and household-keeper. In parallel, a framework of gender mainstreaming (GM) practices in planning developed in the last decades. These policies acknowledge the gendered character of the planning practice and aim at reducing gender inequalities in the city. This search for a more inclusive and just city is here linked to the need for collaboration between stakeholders and local participation of citizens, which allows to better answer their needs. This research investigates the power of participative and collaborative measures in the local implementation of GM policies related to sustainable mobilities. It examines the case-study of Lyon, France, where GM participative and collaborative measures have been implemented at the metropolitan level. It also digs into the local initiative of “bus lines’ ambassadors”, which offers women to participate in audits and write reports on the factors contributing to a feeling of unsafety on the bus network. Policy document-analysis and semi-structured interviews are conducted to investigate the gendered perspectives on sustainable mobility policies, the nature of stakeholders’ collaboration and ambassadors’ experiences, as both users and policymakers. The main findings of this research are the need for more gender-disaggregated data and a gendered political agenda in France, which will allow to better implement GM policies. These policies also must be transdisciplinary: collaboration appears as crucial in enhancing a gendered vision on sustainable mobilities, which also stresses the need to work with feminist associations. Moreover, participants’ experience shows their proactive role in implementing GM measures on the transport network. In parallel, their transports experience seemsto be little influenced by the project. It highlights a wider challenge: changing mindsets, which stresses the importance of education and the fight against sexist stereotypes. This research argues, on a wider level, for increased efforts on GM policies, specifically on the transdisciplinary aspect and for attention to all forms of gender inequalities, as they are all connected. Finally, more involvement of concerned people and reliance on their contextual knowledge appears as crucial in building a more just and inclusive city, and allows an accuratereplication in different contexts.