In today’s world, women face serious social disadvantages across their life courses, including in mobility and accessing transport services. Consequently, women experience severe transport poverty preventing them from accessing opportunities to improve their quality of life, such as engaging in job markets and participating in social networks. The arrangements of mobility within the household also provide unequal distribution of transport resources among household members that may reduce women’s quality of life (QoL).

The rapid economic development and presence of new transportation modes in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area, Indonesia, such as sharing-ride transportation, bus rapid transit, mass rapid transit and light rapid transit, all offer potential for women to reshape their quality of life and improve their economic outcomes.  However, not all women can enjoy transport services. Social norms and structures prevent many from accessing the various opportunities provided by urban development. In terms of career, traditional roles in Indonesia still maintain that a women’s responsibility lies in being a full-time homemaker with caring duties for other members of the family, thus restricting their mobility to a smaller area centred around the family house.  

Despite the increasing amount of literature studying gender differences and transport, most of the transport research related to women’s quality of life with specific to people living in the Global South countries remain relative rare. At the same time, even though the research of mobility biographies has made essential contributions to our understanding of mobility dynamics across an individual’s life course, it often relies on individual life trajectories and pays little attention to gender issues and mobility histories at household levels.

Drawing from retrospective interview data, this thesis investigates qualitatively the dynamics between mobility behaviours and key life events such as marriage, residential location changes and the birth of children of people living in the Jakarta Metropolitan Area. The topic is crucial to increasing knowledge in how transport access and its distribution within households may change their members’ life courses. The contribution of this research lies in a deep understanding of gender issues embedded in transport and provides overarching pathways to leverage women’s QoL and improve their standards of living.

Funding: Riset Pro from Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia

Advisors: Dr Dorina Pojani, Professor Neil Sipe

Project members


PhD candidate