Cycling through gendered lives

Exploring the link between structural gender inequalities, gender norms and mobility practices in Japan and beyond

20-21 January 2022

Cycling through gendered lives: exploring the link between structural gender inequalities, gender norms and mobility practices in Japan and beyond

Women remain strongly underrepresented among cyclists in Western cities (Pucher, John; Buehler, Ralph 2012). Past studies exploring barriers to women cycling have reached two conclusions. First, women would not cycle as much as men because they would be more risk-averse ; second, unequally shared domestic responsibilities would make their mobilities too complex to cycle (Ravensbergen, Léa; Buliung, Ron; Laliberté, Nicole 2019). Women would thus be more likely to cycle where secured infrastructure is provided, and where domestic tasks are equally shared between men and women (Prati, Gabriele; Fraboni, Federico; De Angelis, Marco; Pietrantoni, Luca; Johnson, Daniel; Shires, Jeremy 2019). However, these widely accepted results, based on concurring Western studies, do not hold in the context of Tokyo.

In Tokyo, women represent the majority (57%) of cyclists (Goel, Rahul; Goodman, Anna; Aldred, Rachel; Nakamura, Ryota; Tatah, Lambed; Garcia, Leandro Martin Totaro; Zapata-Diomedi, Belen; de Sa, Thiago Herick; Tiwari, Geetam; de Nazelle, Audrey; Tainio, Marko; Buehler, Ralph; Götschi, Thomas; Woodcock, James 2021) and cycling is overwhelmingly used for household-serving trips (TMATPC, 2018). Yet, Japan is marked by strong gender inequalities: Japanese women spend on average 23 hours per week on care and household chores, while men only spend 5 hours on these tasks (Cabinet Cabinet Office; Gender Equality Bureau 2016). Japanese women also face the largest wage gap in the world, and lack of welfare state support still encourages a lot of them to quit their job when they have a child (Shirahase, Sawako 2014). This case points to the complex links between women’s mobilities and their position in society.

This workshop will explore the link between structural gender inequalities, cultural gender norms, and women’s bicycling practices. Research works from around the world will be confronted to the “critical case” (Flyvbjerg, Bent 2006) of Tokyo to identify ways forward for research on gender and cycling. To accommodate researchers from several different countries, and given the ongoing travel uncertainties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, this workshop will be held online.

  • Introductions and chair: Marion Lagadic (2021 FFJ/Michelin Foundation fellow, University of Oxford), Sébastien Lechevalier (FFJ-EHESS), Pierre-Édouard Sorel (Director of Movin'On Development, Michelin)
  • Speakers: Nihan Akyelken (University of Oxford), Margot Abord de Chatillon (University of Lyon), Marion Lagadic (2021 FFJ/Michelin Foundation fellow, University of Oxford), Kazuki Nakamura (Meijo University), Lena Näre (University of Helsinki), Chigusa Yamaura (University of Oxford)
  • 20-21 January 2022 - 10.00 - 12.45 (French time) | 18.00 - 20.45 (Japan time)
  • Online - In English
Aires culturelles, Sociologie et sciences politiques Asie, Japon

Informations pratiques

  • Thursday 20 January 2022 - 10:00 to Friday 21 January 2022 - 12:45
  • Online