Gender as key to understanding Kathmandu's ride-sharing platforms

Article by ISS alumna Pritee Hamal
Motorbike ride-sharing in Kathmandu
Pritee Hamal and Roy Huijsmans

What is the role of gender in Kathmandu's motorbike-based ride-sharing platforms? And how can primarily young women use these platforms to gain more independent mobility?

This article investigates.

Published in Gender, Place and Culture, this article by recent ISS alumna Pritee Hamal and Dr Roy Huijsmans is  based on Pritee’s MA research which was highly original (and brave): conducting mobile ethnography while using two motorbike-based ride-sharing platforms in Kathmandu, Nepal, during the monsoon season as both a customer and a driver.

Entitled ‘Making Markets Gendered: Kathmandu’s ride-sharing platforms through a gender lens’, the article is based on the ethnographic material and argues that gender is key to understanding the situated practice of Kathmandu’s ride-sharing platforms. These platforms offer primarily young women more scope for mobility independent of their male relatives and can therefore be considered further expanding shifting gender relations, while simultaneously more conservative gender relations are reproduced in the situated practice of ride-sharing.

Overall, the article constitutes a novel example of conducting mobile ethnography and contributes a gender perspective to the theorization of the placed performance of the gig economy.

The article is available on Open Access. Read it online - ‘Making Markets Gendered: Kathmandu’s ride-sharing platforms through a gender lens


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About the authors

Pritee Hamal graduated from the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in 2019 with an MA in Development Studies. She majored in Human Rights, Gender and Conflict Studies: Social Justice Perspectives.

Roy Huijsmans is Associate Professor at ISS. In his research he focuses on young people’s situated encounters with development and change.

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