No.20 Examining Women’s Commuting Experience in Urban Philippines: A Photovoice Exercise on Human Security

  • #Discussion Papers

Human security is easily associated with examining disasters and other catastrophic events. However, our everyday life is filled with perpetual challenges embedded in our day-to-day activities that unquestionably challenge our human security. Many studies have shown that mobility issues are central to achieving sustainable communities and that people’s everyday mobility is a highly gendered experience due to differences in travel needs and behaviors resulting from societal norms. This study uses Photovoice to examine the daily experiences of thirty women who commute in Metro Manila. Adopting a human security lens, the study identifies the interconnected and compounded threats and challenges women face during their commutes. It also surveyed the different self-protection and empowerment mechanisms women adopt to make their commutes safer. The study found that women are more vulnerable than men with regard to their movement in public spaces. This is not only due to their physiological differences but also a result of the different roles they play in their spheres of engagement. Addressing these multidimensional insecurities of female commuters requires not just the development of quality transport infrastructure but also bringing about societal changes that remove the barriers to equitable access to public transportation for all.

Keywords: human security, empowerment, women’s mobility, women and transport, Metro Manila

Lisette R. ROBLES, Sandy Mae Gaspay
Date of issuance
March 2024
Number of pages
Related areas
  • #Asia
  • #Human Security
Research area
Peacebuilding and Humanitarian Support
Research project