How

CLIMATE CHANGE

WILL EFFECT WOMEN IN AOTEAROA

“Women and girls experience the greatest impacts of the climate crisis as it amplifies existing gender inequalities and puts women’s lives and livelihoods at risk. Across the world, women depend more on, yet have less access to, natural resources, and often bear a disproportionate responsibility for securing food, water, and fuel.” The UN, 2022

 

Buses​

 

  • What we know: 

    • Women in Aotearoa use Public Transport more than men.

    • Women are more likely than men to use PT during off-peak times.

    • Women tend to “trip chain” more than men e.g. dropping off children on the way to work, or going to the supermarket on the way home. 

    • In one car households, women have less access to the car, and rely on Public Transport and multi-modal transport options. A Waka Kotahi survey carried out between 2011 and 2014 showed men drove 12,000 kilometres per year on average, while women averaged just over 8000 kilometres. Women were more likely to be non-drivers, too; 15 per cent of women over 65 had never driven, compared to two percent of men in the same age bracket.

    • With gas prices high at the moment, women who typically have less of an income compared to men, and are still the primary caregivers in society, are disproportionately affected and in need of alternatives. 

    • Women tend to stop driving before men in old age 

  • What WIU suggests: 

    • Ensure new buses are accessible, and can fit more than one wheelchair or pram at a time, and are designed for the width of modern prams and wheelchairs, which are typically larger. 

    • More frequent bus services so that multi-leg trips are possible without long waits at bus stops - including during off-peak bus times. 

    • Better quality and street level lighting around bus stops and the footpaths people use to get to their public transport service. 

    • Extra patrols by security officers.

    • A campaign to address public harassment culture on our public transport network, and a number to report incidents on - text based reporting is the easiest way to report harassment for women as is done in Paris.

    • More cross-town buses, to serve non-commuting travel and link residential communities with key destinations (e.g. centres) and with rapid transit routes (e.g. trains and express buses).

    • Ensure that the goal of “170,000 more Aucklanders living within 500m of a frequent bus route” is supported by accessible and safe routes to/from bus stops. Good street lighting, well-lit bus stops, bus stops located near other amenities (e.g shops, parks).

 

Walking & Cycling​

 

  • What we know: 

    • Women in Aotearoa walk and use “active modes” more than men.

    • Women don’t feel safe walking at night. 

    • More women would cycle if it was safe to do so (protected cycle lanes are a must).

    • Elderly, disabled, youth and low-income communities are more at risk from higher speeds. This is because they cross streets more slowly, are less likely to drive and are less likely to live in walkable neighbourhoods. 25% of people in Aotearoa have a disability, and women are over represented in this statistic. Slow streets give people more choice on how they move. Slow streets particularly benefit members of our communities who can not, or prefer not to drive due to age, disabilities, low incomes or health and environmental concerns.

  • What WIU suggests: 

    • Improvements to shade and shelter - as temperatures increase, women walking will be disproportionately affected. More shelter, such as verandas and tree canopies will be necessary. 

    • Safe cycle facilities must be physically separated from vehicle traffic to enable women to cycle.

    • Ensure that walking and cycling infrastructure is accessible and is designed for comfort and safety - understanding that perceived safety is as important as physical safety. This includes lighting, accessible paths, clear signage, sight lines, welcoming spaces, passive surveillance, etc.

    • More cross-town cycle links, safe infrastructure to the local shops and villages, and schools and child-related services as these are the most common links that women need, and where there are currently gaps. 

    • Reduce speeds to 30km per hour across Auckland neighbourhoods and villages. 

 

 

Biodiversity

 

  • What we know: 

    • Women in Aotearoa walk more than men. 

    • Women don’t feel safe walking at night. 

    • Uncertainty of weather and the increase in extreme weather events can have a big impact on trees.

    • Urban ngahere and food gardens aren’t only great in terms of climate action but also help build community and connect with nature. Women are especially more likely to be involved in their local community initiatives, and benefit from this climate action combined with social infrastructure. 

  • What WIU suggests: 

    • More street trees to improve canopy cover and provide shade while walking is very important.

    • Women do not feel safe using public spaces in Auckland. Over 70% of women have been harassed at some point, and about the same number do not feel safe when using public transport and in public spaces. We need to ensure vegetation and trees are planted in a way that creates safe movement and high visibility for women as they move around our city, rather than unsafe dark low-visibility spaces. This is particularly important when designing planting around entrances to parks and walkways, and along paths through parks.

    • Design of streets and open spaces to enable ‘passive watering’ (e.g. directing stormwater into tree pits) and other drought-protection methods.

    • Planting trees which are suited to the location, climate and use of the space.

    • An updated analysis of tree canopy cover for Tamaki Makaurau.

 

References: 

https://women.govt.nz/gender-tool/analysis/example-transport-and-gender

https://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Report/Drivers-Travel-Survey-2015.pdf

https://www.epa.govt.nz/assets/FileAPI/proposal/NSP000026/Evidence-Submitters-evidence/c8577b6710/Dr-Richard-Lee-Appendix-Document-1.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2021/mar/26/want-to-make-the-streets-safer-for-women-start-with-cycling

https://www.ehinz.ac.nz/indicators/transport/main-mode-of-transport-to-work/

https://women.govt.nz/gpg

https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2016/4/20/woman-public-transit-harassment

https://stopstreetharassment.org/toolkits/campaigning/

https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2015/12/99137/paris-anti-street-harassment-campaign

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/68878567/kiwi-women-living-in-fear