Building an evidence base for gender-sensitive transport planning in rural Tajikistan through stakeholder engagement

Active Travel and Healthy Streets, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building, Tajikistan

In honour of International Women’s Day 2020, we’re delighted to announce our new assignment with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), working with UNICEF Tajikistan, the Young Generation of Tajikistan (YGT), FIRE AID, and the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) to examine road risk in rural Tajik villages from a gender perspective and the role women can play in road safety leadership at a local level.

EBRD and EASST are keen to encourage fresh thinking when it comes to who should be the priority in road designs and transport, and involve more women in this process. In 2018, the FIA Foundation along with CAF – Latin America published ‘Ella se Meuve Segura’ – a report into the issue of gender and transport in Latin America. Of the report’s main findings were that the evidence base for gender sensitive transport planning is inadequate and that women are poorly represented within the sector. To date, there have been almost no studies into the relationship between women and transport in rural areas – particularly in low- and middle-income.

Tajikistan is aware of the impact of road traffic crashes on the lives of its citizens. In 2018 there were 395 deaths and around 1357 people were injured through road traffic collisions – around 1 in 4 of these casualties was a child under 16 years old. Economic costs of road crashes are estimated at approximately 4.6 per cent of the GDP.[1] However, if more roads, living spaces and transport choices were designed by and to meet the needs of women, there would be far fewer casualties altogether. Moreover, if we consider the needs of women – others will benefit including children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and tourists. All this would have a positive impact on economic development.

Supported by the EBRD Shareholders Special Fund, during this assignment we will work closely with the 7 jamoats (rural councils) situated along the Rogun and Nurobod road. People living along this road presently rely on poorly maintained local access roads connecting to the existing M41 highway.

Based on our Safe Villages methodology, the project will build local road safety partnerships with local authorities, traffic police, schools, women, and children in the community to identify the main risks and transport needs. Working with UNICEF Tajikistan, we will focus activities on schools to promote children’s road safety and support their work in developing indicators to measure progress of the road safety SDGs in Tajikistan.

With the technical input of Dr. Evangelos Bellos of NTUA and EASST Trustee, Kate McMahon, we will develop a travel pattern survey which will be implemented across the 7 jamoats and analysed to highlight different transport needs of men, women, boys and girls.

We will then support these communities in the implementation of mitigating measures, agreed with Ministry of Transport, with a particular emphasis on involving women in leading roles. In partnership with FIRE AID and YGT we will carry out an assessment of the opportunities of training local women in mountain rescue techniques to support the emergency services and post-crash response in the region, and assess the potential for new, local female enterprises linked to road safety and maintenance, and delivering safer transport.

Drawing on lessons learnt through the project, EBRD and EASST will organise a national workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Transport, gathering local and international road and transport actors, local education institutions, NGOs, donors, and the media to share the results of the project and how such projects might be replicated elsewhere as an example of best practice.

[1] Report ‘Road Safety in the EBRD Region’ (2017),