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Statistics SA's new gender report finds that women are two times less likely to obtain driver’s licence in SA

StatsSA director Solly Molayi. Picture: Mbongiseni Mndebele.

StatsSA director Solly Molayi. Picture: Mbongiseni Mndebele.

Published Dec 21, 2021


DURBAN - Like many facets of life in South Africa, women are two times less likely to obtain a drives licence then men.

According to Statistics SA's new gender report, Gender Patterns in Transportation for the Years 2013 to 2020, just 21.8% of women had a driver’s licence in 2020, compared with 40.1% of men.

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In the report, StatsSA show that black and coloured communities were still the main users of public transport, with women the most commuters. Women from minority racial groups were likely to own their mode of transport.

“The report, which outlines the disparities between males and females on their general travel patterns, shows that the use of public transport, particularly taxis, remains skewed toward black African and coloured population groups, with females reporting a slightly higher usage than males. However, females from white and Indian/Asian population groups were more likely to be car passengers or car drivers, said the report.

StatsSA said access to public and private transport was important for women as it helped in achieving equity, but at the same time, was hampered due to safety concerns which disproportionately affected women.

“Access to transport, whether public transport or private transport, is of significance to the rights and equality of women. Limited or inadequate access to transport may contribute to limiting the quality of life, access to learning, employment, cultural and leisure opportunities of women.

“Safe transport is crucial for women’s access to decent work, particularly if they depend on public transport and have to travel late at night. However, gender-based violence risks increase for women travelling from all walks of life, including walking to and from boarding points, and waiting at public transportation boarding points or stations, such as bus, taxi, and train stations. Safety is a major concern that affects women and girls disproportionately. Women on public transportation may be susceptible to unwanted attention, sexual harassment and violence,” said the report.

Worryingly, the report said that 70% of pupils in rural areas have no mode of transportation to get to school.

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“In 2020, travel patterns to educational institutions for Grade R to 12 revealed that more than 70% of learners in rural areas, both male and female, were more likely to walk all the way to school.

“However, females in urban areas were more likely than males to ride as a passenger in a car, take a taxi, or take the bus to school. In 2020, travel patterns to post-secondary education and training institutions (PSET) showed that more than 47% of females took a taxi to these institutions.

“This was 12.5 percentage points higher than their male counterparts, who were at 34.7%. Walking all the way to the PSET institution was the second most popular mode of transport for both males and females, while taking the train was the least popular,” said the report.

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