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Towards an understanding of single mothers' urban mobility. A comparative analysis of parents' travel patterns in the Paris region

Abstract

Ten years ago, one of the outcomes of the WIiT conference was that for a deeper understanding of women’s mobility patterns, it is necessary to include different family structures in the analysis. These structures have changed significantly, particularly in urban areas where one-parent families are growing. These changes don’t contribute to a convergence of mobility patterns between men and women, but they transform the gender gaps. Indeed, one-parent families are mostly headed by a woman with a paid work and with a higher risk of poverty. These single mothers struggle to juggle family and professional constraints with low economic resources. They carry out domestic work alone, as do single fathers; however, the latter spend less time doing so. These findings reveal the need to deepen the analysis of single parents’ mobility in urban areas. In this paper, I will focus on the case of Paris to understand if and how daily mobility “contributes to” gender gaps in family work, taking family structures into account. How do single mothers organize their daily “family-related” trips and what constraints does it reveal? What are the differences between these mothers and those who are part of a couple? How do they differ from single fathers? Since more than half of single mothers in the Paris region live in neighborhoods comprising high proportions of public housing, place of residence also plays a part in their mobility patterns. Factors such as poor accessibility and a lack of local services in these neighborhoods could pose greater risks of social exclusion for single mothers. This paper is based on the data from the latest Parisian household travel survey (Enquête Globale Transports 2010). I will concentrate on the trips with “domestic” purposes (e.g. chauffeuring children) and compare single parents’ patterns with those of parents in dual-parent households, taking places of residence into account. This research will contribute to two of the conference’s lenses: insights and inclusion. For the first, it will focus on a sociodemographic trend whose influence on “transportation and women” needs a better comprehension: the increase of single mothers in urban areas. The objective is to understand the impact of single mothers’ life conditions on their daily mobility. It will reveal, for the second, the importance of a broad opening to a gender approach that considers different life conditions or social positions, and not only “woman” as an aggregated subject.
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Dates and versions

hal-03939397 , version 1 (14-01-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike

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  • HAL Id : hal-03939397 , version 1

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Gonçal Cerdà-Beneito. Towards an understanding of single mothers' urban mobility. A comparative analysis of parents' travel patterns in the Paris region. 6th International Conference on Women Issues in Transportation, Sep 2019, Irvine (CA), United States. 7p. ⟨hal-03939397⟩
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