Gender and mobiliy: inequality in space-time

Project facts

Project promoter:
Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning (IGOT -UL)
Project Number:
Target groups
Public and private organizations, including not-for-profit organizations and NGOs, responsible for the organization and delivery of education and training at local, regional and national levels
Initial project cost:
Final project cost:
From EEA Grants:
€ 144,654
The project is carried out in:


The project is proposing an innovative methodology in gender studies and leads to questioning the pattern of the male mobility chain as the standard reference. Based on the movements on the weekdays of a sample of men and women in the labour market, the daily time uses are identified (locally), the travel chains and stops, by setting daily mobility profiles. Data collection is made with the use of geo-referenced automatic registration (such as GPS) of personal daily activity, preferably supported by smartphones (or personal trackers). Data collection will be supported by the application for mobile devices MOVES app, available for iOS and Android, which has an accurate reading by Google Maps. The methodology is more efficient, faster and accurate than traditional surveys on time-use, since it is not based on the memory of individuals but through recording of spatial location, travel and time spent in places and between them. This study provides useful information to assist the development of strategies and actions, especially in the field of local work-life balance.

Summary of project results

Deepening knowledge about mobility in space and the use of time by women and men in Portugal, the research that led to this final report used the methodology of real-time monitoring of a (business) day of workers in order to examine their commuting patterns. To this end and relying on volunteers (VGI, citizen science), smartphones and/or devices with embedded GPS (trackers) were used for data acquisition. The overall results obtained are based on daily movements that were effectively performed by the participants and not on what they said they did, thus overcoming a typical problem of classic surveys, where what is reported does not always correspond to what happened. Through the GenMob sample we are able to conclude: 1. on average, men travel longer distances than women, but travel less often daily. Men tend to use the car on their daily trips, which are essentially intended for leisure and shopping (single purpose travel / home-work-home); 2. on average, women use public transport more than men and travel shorter distances but more often, which means a travel pattern associated with family-based care (multi-purpose travel); 3. on average, women spend around 3hours/week in family care activities and men about half that time. Men with children spend about 7hours on leisure activities, while women with children spend approximately 6hours/week. The project expects to be useful to levelling out inequalities in terms of the situation of women in the labour market, due to the difficulty in reconciling work and family and personal life, which has an impact on society and the Portuguese economy and contributes to the reduction of economic and social disparities in the European Economic Area.

Summary of bilateral results

The research allowed strengthening the bilateral relations, as the association between Portuguese-Norwegian Universities is best viewed as a work-in-progress and is expected to be matured. One of the most important elements was the trust, mutual respect, sharing of common interests and goals, and the exchange of experience for exploring future projects together (one positive effect of the project will continue after the funding period). Fundamental to this process has been the time spent working together and earning the respective trust of each other. Our evolutionary process also has been furthered by externally funded EEA Grants. This grant not only has provided much needed financial resources and leverage, it also has helped to better define both our partnership and our product. During the earlier reporting periods, efforts to improve the cooperation were carried out and a first report from NUC on security issues related to the data to be collected (GenMob initial project notes, NUC, Dec. 2015) was delivered to the IGOT team. Several contacts between the two teams were prepared, including NUC Rector, Ernst Sundt, particularly for the new arrangements of the project (extension of the timeline, the new NUC members joining the team, possible adjustments on the research data collection design, IGOT/NUC Contract Amendment) and possibilities to get Noroff students or the Kristiansand Municipality to participate in the project. During this period, the ULisboa and NUC teams also had the opportunity to know more about each structure and teaching culture. At the Final Conference Iain Sutherland presented a conference of security issues related to the IoT and Ernst Sundt actively participated in the Round Table.