Karla González, former Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) and leader of the Gender Working Group of the World Bank participated yesterday in the webinar “Gender and transport in Latin America”, promoted by Women in Motion.

Karla González, former Minister of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT) from 2004 to 2006

The presentation focused on the need to consider gender in the formulation of public transport policies, this in view of the insecurity that women suffer in current neutral systems.

The former minister explained that the study, “She moves safely”, globally, 80% of women feel insecure in public spaces.

On the reality of Costa Rica, the former minister said that while Costa Rica has not appeared in international rankings about cities, such as 62% in Mexico City, 61% Quito (Peru) and 89% in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Santiago de Chile, where women feel more insecure in public transport, it does not mean that this is not a problem.

According to González, in Costa Rica, six out of ten women have been victims of harassment in public spaces, from the results of the survey by the School of Statistics of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

González said that despite the relevant efforts such as campaigns against sexual harassment in public spaces, and that a protocol for the care of public spaces is worked through the National Women’s Institute and civil society organizations, the lack of access to safe public transport is one of the biggest obstacles for women to opt for a job.

“Above education and health, women, worldwide, depend on public transport support to perform their daily tasks. Therefore, the system must be redesigned to avoid the massive escape of women to individual transport systems,” said Gonzalez.