Government decisions often affect men and women differently.

… This is partly due to their different positions in the home and the labour market.

With a new Welsh Government in place, focus now turns to developing the Programme for Government.

It is vital that this is sensitive to gender differences so we can build a Wales where women achieve and prosper.

In the coming weeks, we will be highlighting a number of key policy areas that we believe should be prioritised in the Programme for Government and the way in which gender differences might shape policy and service delivery in these areas.

Working Women’s Journey’s – a study into the commuting patterns of men and women in Wales.

The method, distance and cost of commuting to work are important decisions for any person when assessing their employment options.

Chwarae Teg, with support from the Office of National Statistics, has recently conducted research into the commuting patterns of men and women in Wales.

The research provides a snapshot of current commuting patterns in Wales. It also looks at impact of travelling to work on men and women’s employment opportunities.

Ten years ago, 77% of men and 57% of women had daily access to a car.

Nowadays, 65% of men and 63% of women in Wales drive to work, making women far less dependent on public transport than before.

Despite a more even split between men and women, it is economically inactive women who are the group least likely to have daily access to a car, which limits their employment opportunities.

Considerably more people in Wales commute by car than in England. This is likely to be the result of poorer public transport provision, particularly in rural areas.

Regarding other methods of transport, more women than men walk to work or travel by bus.

More men than women cycle or work from home, and an even split of men and women travel by train.

Despite the recent levelling of commuting methods between men and women, commuting distances are more gendered.

Men are more likely to commute further, giving them access to better jobs and higher salaries.

Women are more likely to work closer to home, making it more convenient for them to spend more time at home and to remain the principal care giver.

This reinforces the idea of men being breadwinners and women principally being homemakers and carers.

The cost of commuting is a much more complex issue when looking at gender differences.

Women are more likely to work part-time and commute shorter distances.

Women’s commuting costs are therefore lower but then so are their salaries. Men, on the other hand, travel further, are more likely to work full time and earn more. As a result, their commuting costs are higher.

The high cost of transport is prohibitive for many people when assessing their employment options.

Particularly since the cost of both public and road transport has increased considerably more rapidly than a rise in salaries, for both men and women, in recent years.

For people who are dependent on public transport, however, full-time workers currently have a greater advantage.

Season tickets for trains enable people to travel several times a week more cheaply than buying individual daily tickets.

The more you travel each week, the more you save. Of course, this is a disadvantage for part-time workers who do not need to travel five days a week, and the majority of these are women.

Gender differences in commuting patterns must be considered as transport policies and investment are developed.

With political and economic uncertainty on the horizon, it is vitally important that women in Wales do not suffer the most.

As the Programme for Government is developed, transport is likely to be a major consideration, with planned investment in both road and rail and the development of a new infrastructure commission.

Gender differences in commuting patterns must be considered as transport policies and investment are developed.

We are particularly keen to see steps taken to develop an integrated transport system that would more easily support new, flexible methods of ticketing which could benefit part-time workers.

Consequently this could make things easier for working women in Wales.

Download.

Working Women’s Journeys. An Overview of the Relationship between Commuting and Gender.

Research

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