• Sweden edition
 
Car-buying men outrun women on wheels
Men at a Swedish vintage car meeting in Västerås. File: Ann Törnkvist

Car-buying men outrun women on wheels

Published: 07 Mar 2014 10:06 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Mar 2014 10:06 GMT+01:00


"It think it's due to traditions," said Anette Myht, statistician with official policy advisory agency Transport Analysis.

Men were still more likely to have a driving licence than women were and 67 percent of cars in Sweden were found to be registered to men. Figures also showed that men spend 21 percent of their income on transport, while a woman spends 15 percent. If a woman has children, she spends even less - nine percent.

"It's not biological destiny that men buy a car, rather it's a status symbol," transport researcher Joanna Dickinson told the TT news agency on Friday. She referenced the 1940s and 1950s when owning a car became ever more common in Sweden, but the standard was for women to care for the home while men went off to work elsewhere.

"It's been that way for a long time, and it's stayed that way."

Dickinson, an analyst at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut - VTI), said men's longer distance to work could in part also explain the division of labour in the home, or vice-versa, the division of labour at home affected what distance men versus women were comfortable with for their morning commute.

"The travelling affects how a family divides up the work," she said. "Having responsibility for the children and the household means that the woman often takes a job closer to the home."

The new review would have come as little surprise to the agency, which in January published a report about men's and women's travel habits in general. The agency rifled through figures from Statistics Sweden and collated them with two surveys on travel habits.

"Traditional gender roles are still very clear in our travel habits," said project manager Mats Wiklund in a statement at the time. "Men drive cars and women sit in the passenger seat. Men spend more time getting back and forth to work than women do, while women spend more time travelling to go shopping for goods and services."

Women were found to spend more time using buses, trains, and the metro, as well as walking to get where they were going, than men did. The January report concluded that gender differences in Swedes' travel habits had remained unchanged in the past five years.

The report author took the opportunity to reference the case of Vienna, where city planners had made sure to shift the focus from getting around by car to making commuting and moving about in other ways easier. Wiklund cited a 2013 Slate Magazine article entitled Let's All Move to Vienna, in which the writer dissected the different ways men and women have of getting to their destination.

"One big reason is that women are still tasked with handling the majority of domestic responsibilities," writer Amanda Marcotte noted as she painted a picture of women running errands. "As irritating as this conclusion is, the city's response was pure gold: They started the long process of reorganized infrastructure to ease intra-neighbourhood running around." 

READ ALSO: Stockholm freeriders see progress in fight for free public transport

What has become known as gender equal city planning has also made the news in Sweden. Early this winter, a politician in Stockholm said the capital would do well to mimic the small town of Karlskoga, which had rearranged its snow clearing priorities to make sure people on foot (more women than men) faced a snow-free walk to drop off the children at daycare and then continue to work - rather than the town clearing the major roads first off. 

READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO: Sweden warms to "gender equal" snow ploughing

"Stockholm is as a modern city and needs a modern way of ploughing," Stockholm's shadow city commissioner Daniel Helldén of the Green Party told The Local.
 
"We need access for everyone in the city, today it's mostly men who are prioritized."

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
National
Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Northern Swedes wake up to September snow

Summer has come to a definite end in Kiruna as residents of the northern town were greeted with a blanket of snow on Sunday morning. READ  

Elections 2014
Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart
Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson. Photo: Leo Sellén/TT

Ex-Prime Minister: Sweden is falling apart

Former Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson has said that the election success of the Sweden Democrats is a "slap" in the face for the Stockholm establishment. READ  

National
Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis
Somali nationals taking part in a demonstration against deportations in Stockholm. File photo:Björn Larsson Ask/SvD/ TT

Trio prosecuted for hate attack against Somalis

Three young men in southern Sweden suspected of attacking Somali refugees with stones and screaming "sieg heil" have been indicted on charges of racial agitation. READ  

National
Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Swedish airfares to get cheaper in 2015

Sweden is set to buck the European trend of rising air prices with fares expected to drop next year according to a new report. READ  

National
Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune
Eric Westerberg's homemade submarine Isabelle. Photo: PS.nu

Swede's homemade submarine nets fortune

A Swedish submarine enthusiast who spent over 3,500 hours making his own vessel has sold his prized possession for 705,000 kronor ($98,500) in an online auction. READ  

National
Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Cops reported for making 'Roma' comment

Police in northern Sweden have been reported to the Equality Ombudsman for describing a wanted suspect as having a "Roma appearance." READ  

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes
A political career for Zlatan? Some fans seem to want to see that. Photo: Peter Dejong/TT

Donald Duck and Zlatan get Swedish votes

The Bilderberg Group, the Satanic Initiative and Adolf Hitler all received votes in Sweden’s general election, according to a list released by the country’s electoral authority. READ  

Sport
Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games
The Swedish team in action. Photo: TT

Stockholm fails bid to host Euro 2020 games

Sweden's capital has missed out on a chance to host any Euro 2020 games, with Copenhagen the only Scandinavian city among the thirteen winning locations. READ  

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests
Antje Jackelén, Archbishop of Uppsala, is the first woman to head the Swedish church. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

Vicar: God rejects fans of women priests

A Swedish priest has been fired after telling his congregation that people who support female priests would be rejected by God - despite the fact that his own church is led by a woman. READ  

Analysis
Women set to dominate top post-election jobs
Margot Wallström (right) could become Stefan Löfven's new Minister of Foreign Affairs. Photo: TT

Women set to dominate top post-election jobs

Sweden could soon get a female Foreign Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt's ousted Moderate Party is preparing for its first woman leader and the grandmother of actor Hugh Grant's son is being tipped as Parliament's next Speaker. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
The 'black gold' of Sweden's west coast.
National
West Sweden prepares for the 2014 lobster premiere
Society
What's on in Sweden
Politics
How Sweden Democrats went mainstream
Politics
Scandinavia and Scotland: closer links?
Gallery
Property of the week - Eskilstuna
Blog updates

20 September

How a Frog Can Save the Environment (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"What we do we imagine when we think of children enjoying nature? Perhaps it’s fishing, marveling at lightning bugs on a muggy July day or blowing on the wispy petals of a dandelion to make a special wish. But perhaps most iconic of the playful innocence in childhood is hopping after and trying to catch..." READ »

 

19 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Happy Friday readers! It sure has been a exciting week in Sweden, where we’re set to get a new Prime Minister after Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down following Sunday’s elections. The Local blogged live from the key political gatherings across Stockholm. Why not re-visit the action by taking a look at our photos, tweets, videos and analysis? Since the..." READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
How to start a business in Stockholm
Society
How I became a surf blogger when I moved to Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Society
Why is Stockholm's Södermalm so cool?
Gallery
People-watching: September 11th
Gallery
People-watching: September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

866
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN