Women’s Mobility

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Principal Investigators: Erica Field, Kate Vyborny
Partners: The Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW)
: Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), International Growth Center (IGC), Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Urban Services Initiative, Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries, National Science Foundation, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, Asian Development Bank
Project Type: Large scale
Start Date: July 2014
End date: December 2020


Project Background

Women’s mobility is highly restricted in many countries with religiously conservative cultural norms. One reason for this is that women’s use of most means of transport – such as crowded buses or rickshaws driven by men - involves breaking social taboos against women coming into close contact with unrelated men, and the ensuing discomfort, social stigma and threat of possible harassment or attack, discourage women's use of public transport systems. These social norms potentially have a major impact on women’s ability to choose whether and how to participate in the labor force: whether to take a job, and where and what type of job to eventually take.

Policy Implication

CERP's Women's Mobility project aims to test the overall impact of women's-only transport on women's mobility, labor force participation, and firm-level outcomes in Lahore.

The project is implementing a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in the Lahore Metropolitan Area which seeks to quantify the impact of social norms on women’s participation in the public sphere, including in the labor force, and test whether a simple intervention can expand women’s opportunities outside the home and employers’ access to female workers.

Project Evaluation

The project’s intervention will be the provision of door-to-door pick-and-drop transport services which takes individuals from home to work and back. To test the effectiveness of this intervention, these services are compared across three groups of the sample. In one treatment group, these transport services are given to females only; in the second treatment group, they will be mixed-gender. In the third group of control areas, no new transport services will be provided.

During the design phase of the project, the research team conducted extensive analysis of existing data sources and pre-testing, including mapping of women’s existing travel patterns. The data used was borrowed from 2012 Transport Planning Survey of a representative sample of 18,000 households in Lahore, conducted by the government, so to map out the existing transport services of different types (large buses with separate women’s compartments, and small vans without separate compartments), using data from several government sources, telephone interviews with operators, and field verification where needed and a demand assessment survey of 1,000 households across the Lahore metropolitan area. The project has also piloted alternative approaches to the intervention.

Results from the pilot phase of the project were published as a policy brief (an extended version is also available)

Currently, the project is conducting a baseline survey targeting 80,000 households in Lahore’s metropolitan area. Simultaneously, the project is conducting a baseline survey of firms (employers) to study how firms can be affected by the planned intervention. The project is also setting up a job search facilitation service called Job Talash which aims to inform surveyed individuals about available jobs at the surveyed firms.

Job Asaan

CERP is working in collaboration with the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) to create an Employment Facilitation Hub for women, also called Job Asaan.

Last modified on Friday, 10 August 2018 06:03