Exploring the Personal Burden and Value of Pedestrian Experiences of Women from Low Income Backgrounds in Nairobi and Dar–Salaam

Project leader: Violet Wavire
Kenyatta University, School of Education, Kenya.


  • Stephano Nalaila (Comparative Analysis and Quantitative Methods Expert, upcoming Phd Candidate ), Mzumbe University, Morogoro, Tanzania
  • Hedwig Ombunda (Gender and Development Mixed Method Expert, PhD Candidate) KCA University, Kenya


Due to urban population growth, poor city planning and poverty, urban low income women in major African cities have been marginalized from formal transport systems comprising private cars, taxis and motorcycle transport services. They comprise the over half of the population of people who have been relegated to walking as a mode of transport and are now called ―captive‖ walkers.

Yet, these women are still required to perform multiple reproductive and productive roles on a daily basis entailing taking children and family members to school and hospital, doing household chores and engaging in economic activities. However, the blight of pedestrians remains invisible in the national policy and budget processes in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam. There is need for evidence informed advocacy work with the relevant Government, NGO and Donor communities that highlights the gendered value and barriers to walking among low income communities to show the role walking plays in the transport systems in African major cities.

However, current research on the subject is system and policy oriented and fails to showcase not only the personal value the ―captive‖ walkers accrue from this daily activity but also the burden they carry as result of it. This study therefore applies a gender, intersectionality and participatory approach to decipher the personal value and the burden that walking as mode of transport presents for women in informal settlements in Nairobi and Dar-Salaam. The study will also generate recommendations on reducing the burden and increase the value of walking for women of low income status in African Cities. The data will be collected through a survey, FGDs, and Key Informant Interviews with women living in informal settlements in the two cities and policy makers within Government, NGOs and donors. The data will be disseminated through a stakeholder meeting, policy brief and journal article publications.