Author(s): Rakodi C
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Abstract PIP: This article reviews recent publications that add to the debate about gender and human settlements. Urban development is ultimately shaped by gender assumptions and by the way in which each sex experiences the urban environment; gender-blind urban planning can be overcome by reaching a greater understanding of women's economic and social roles (and the limitations imposed on them) in urban society. Most of the recent publications on women and human settlements have been produced for international conferences that have helped to mainstream gender issues and incorporate them into urban policy and practice. "Women in the City" is the report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's 1994 conference. Concerns raised in this report about the adverse effects a poorly designed living environment has on women, especially elderly women, are echoed in the proceedings of a 1992 international conference held at the University of Michigan, which considered issues of shelter policy, law, shelter and women in crisis, women's participation in the production of shelter, shelter and income opportunities, women and shelter-related services and infrastructure, nontraditional living arrangements, design, and the needs of elderly women. A 1994 publication edited by Meer contains a series of papers that analyze how women respond to urban poverty. Other recent publications focus on: 1) how women's work changes in response to economic development and urbanization, 2) survival strategies, 3) urban microenterprises, 4) gender analysis of land use and town planning, and 5) research and policy priorities that emerged from a 1994 conference held in Nairobi. In order to achieve social justice, gender issues must be analyzed along with issues such as age, ethnicity, and class.
This article was published in Gend Dev
and referenced in Arts and Social Sciences Journal