Increase in women-only buses eases transport anxieties

Date: Sunday, November 4, 2018

Author: Mariyam Nawaz

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea — Women and girls feel safer on their daily city commutes now that, with UN Women’s support, a total of eight women-only buses are operating in Port Moresby.

Officials of the Road Traffic Authority and UN Women pose with drivers and staff members of the women-only buses, at the 11 July launch ceremony. Photo: UN Women/Mariyam Nawaz
Officials of the Road Traffic Authority and UN Women pose with drivers and staff members of the women-only buses, at the 11 July launch ceremony. Photo: UN Women/Mariyam

Four such buses had been running in the city under an initiative by Ginigoada Foundation, a non-governmental organization. Four more buses were added to the fleet on 11 July. The buses, which have all-women drivers and crew members and charge nominal fares, are licensed by the Road Traffic Authority to run regular routes as public motor vehicles.

At a ceremony launching the additional buses, Adekemi Ndieli, Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, said: “Unlike men, women are less likely to travel longer routes. They undertake smaller journeys and make more stops. Safety is their major consideration. I hope that this women-only bus is a temporary measure till we bring the behavioural change in the society where women can access public transportation in safety and dignity.”

Safe public transport gives women access to resources and opportunities such as jobs, childcare, education and health facilities, so it directly strengthens efforts to lessen poverty and boost inclusive economic growth.

In a UN Women study done in 2015, 90 per cent of women surveyed in Port Moresby said they had experienced sexual harassment on a bus or at a bus stop.

While they are considered a temporary measure against sexual harassment and other forms of violence on public transport, the women-only buses serve an average of 450 people each day, and provide a safe space for women to build networks and discuss livelihood opportunities and topics such as violence against women.

The UN Women Safe Public Transport Programme in Port Moresby is supported through funding from the Australian Government. UN Women has been working on the project with Ginigoada Foundation, National Capital District Commission, Road Traffic Authority, Papua New Guinea Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, the Police and Public Motor Vehicle Association.

For more Information:

Please contact Mariyam Nawaz
Communications Specialist, UN Women Papua New Guinea
Tel: +675 321 2877 | Mobile: +675 7593 6320
Email: Mariyam.nawaz@unwomen.org