Investigating the link between transport sustainability and the representation of women in Swedish local committees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There are large discrepancies in the transport sector along gender lines in travel patterns and means of transportation used, but also in attitudes and norms among citizens, planners and decision-makers, with women generally more positive towards measures involving the lowering CO2 emissions. At the same time, the number of women involved in transport-related decisions is low. This is a problem for gender equality but possibly also for sustainability. A careful review of previous studies indicated a lack of analyses on the subject based on quantitative data at the local level. We investigated a possible link between women's presence in local policymaking and more sustainable transport policies, and whether it is possible to capture such an effect. The main contribution of this paper is a methodological approach in which, besides generating unique data on representation in municipalities (confirming men's dominance, specifically in transport policymaking), possibilities for quantitatively measuring gender and the level of sustainability in transport planning are discussed and tested. Challenges in collecting relevant data and analyzing possible covariances in the data set are discussed and presented as well as suggestions for further investigations into the possible link between gender and sustainable transport performance.


External organisations
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Trivector
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Gender Studies
  • Public Administration Studies


  • Critical mass, Female representation, Gender, Mobility, Passenger transport
Original languageEnglish
Article number4728
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch