Sana Iqbal is a Postgraduate Researcher at Coventry University.
The overall aim of my research is to analyse the impact of transport poverty on women in Karachi and to propose ways for integrating gender analysis in transport planning. The restrictions on the spatial mobility of women in a patriarchal setting not only result in substantially lower trip rates but also reduces their ability to access socio-economic capital. Mostly, I am trying to understand the factors that can help to understand the various ways women can face transport poverty.
How did you end up doing what you are currently doing?
I have personally experienced many challenges while travelling on public transport. Therefore, my research is quite close to my heart. Moreover, I have always been passionate about working on gender-relevant themes, particularly the ones related to enhancing women’s agency.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My typical day starts with answering emails. I usually try to work on my chapters to meet the proposed timeline.
What or who inspires you in your work?
The need to address the issue of gender transport poverty itself is a motivation. This discussion is important because there are physical, financial, temporal, spatial and cultural components to mobility and by implication, full participation within society. Moreover, the need to devise contextually relevant mobility solutions keeps me motivated too.
Why do we need gender equality in research?
The transport sector in Karachi currently has 0% female representation, and this is reflected in the operation too. However, if we don’t bring gender equality in research, we cannot guarantee how these trends can ever change since the discrimination will always be overlooked.
What advice do you have for fellow researchers?
Harness each other’s potential and mobilize more women to join your cause. Collaboration is also useful since there are often other researchers who are working in the same area/ field too.