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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Gina Porter

Porter, G., Hampshire, K., Abane, A., Tanle, A. Munthali, A., Robson, E. Mashiri, M., Maponya, G. & Dube, S. (2011). Young people’s transport and mobility in sub-Saharan Africa: the gendered journey to school. Documents d’Analisi Geografica 57(1): 61-79.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper draws on rich ethnographic data and complementary survey research from a
three-country study (Ghana, Malawi, South Africa) of young people’s mobility to explore
the gendered nature of children’s journeys to school in sub-Saharan Africa. In most African
countries, girls’ participation in formal education is substantially lower than boys’, especially
at secondary school level. Transport and mobility issues often form an important
component of this story, though the precise patterning of the transportation and mobility
constraints experienced by schoolchildren, and the ways in which transport factors interact
with other constraints, varies from region to region. We draw attention to the nature of
gendered travel experiences in rural and urban areas, the implications of these findings for
access to education, and finally suggest areas where policy intervention could be beneficial.