Why women are less responsible for greenhouse gas emissions than men

Women use more diverse modes of travel and generate less greenhouse gas than men, despite being more than twice as likely to travel by men’s bikes, the researchers say.

For the findings published in the Journal of Transport and Health, the research team studied the transport patterns of approximately 50,000 people based on data from the New Zealand Domestic Travel Survey between 2002 and 2014.

According to the researchers, while both men and women mostly traveled by car, there were distinct patterns of gender-related travel.

He said that fewer women (two per cent) cycled regularly than men, but women traveled less distance.

“Women made more trips, but traveled 12 to 17 percent fewer kilometers per day and were more likely to walk and use public transport than men,” said study head researcher Carolyn Shaw from the University of Otago, New Zealand, Wellington said.

“Thus, women overall had a more diverse and lower greenhouse gas emissions travel profile than men,” Shaw said.

The findings showed that women also took fewer than five kilometers of car trips each day compared to men, trips that could possibly be made by bike.

Research focuses on Kiwis who cycled for utility or transportation reasons. The most common reason for traveling was to accompany others, go shopping or social travel.

In general, men made fewer trips and fewer shopping trips to go with others.

“We found differences in mode for travel for the same purpose by gender. For example, shopping trips made by men in New Zealand are more likely to be used by women than those by women,” Shaw said.

“Women are already more resilient and lower-carbon travelers than men. We need to provide them with better opportunities and support to undertake this type of travel,” Shaw stressed.

Research suggests that specific changes are needed in the cycling infrastructure to encourage women to cycle more between their homes and shops and to travel safely in the company of others.

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