Gender differences in activity and travel behavior in the Arab world
- Gender plays an important role in activity participation and travel.
- Women tend to travel less than men in terms of both number of trips and total time spent traveling.
- Women are the ones who make more child-serving stops.
- Women tend to travel by car more as passengers, whereas men tend to be drivers.
- Travel choices are constrained by the income and personal responsibilities of the residents.
The purpose of this study is to extend the research on gendered differences in travel patterns in the Arab world by an in-depth study of the interrelationship of travel-related activities and various socio-economic and demographic characteristics. This study is based on a unique data set that includes activity and travel diaries collected from three Arab communities in the Galilee region of Israel. Through descriptive statistics and nonlinear structural equations modeling, we found that gender plays an important role in both activity participation and travel behavior in these communities. Women tend to travel less than men in terms of both number of tours, defined as chain of trip segments that start and end at home, trips, and total time spent traveling. Women tend to work more within their communities and to conduct more of their activities by walking; they are also the ones who make more child-serving stops, which affect their travel patterns. Women tend to travel by car more as passengers, whereas men tend to be drivers. Those who made more tours also tended to make more complex tours, with more stops per tour, although, in general, complex tours are not substituted for making additional tours. People who work outside the community and make complex tours are more likely to drive, as the car is needed for these types of trips, which men make more than women.
From a policy perspective, these findings suggest that public transportation services are needed to help overcome gender differences in travel behavior. Improving transit service for school trips and improving urban design through a friendlier environment, especially for children, will beneficially affect the complexity of women’s daily activity patterns and their quality of life.