This week: focusing on women and equity
One of the clearest issues that has emerged in this debate over the past week is the need to accept gender as a primary category of analyzing, creating policies for, and intervening in urban development.
Users from all over the world have talked about patterns of unequal access to basic vital resources such as water, and we have learnt that the nature of this access varies considerably between income classes and sexes.
We have had a series of excellent posts by Kathryn Travers of Women in Cities International, who has let us know of gender based studies of participatory development, and the use of women's safety audit methodologies as part of the quest to create safer cities for women.
An equity perspective to policy and planning necessarily takes the cultural and spatial forms of inequality that keep women (and indeed all vulnerable persons) in positions of extreme vulnerability and marginalization, into account. As last week's debate revealed, 'equity' is about creating a 'level playing field'.
But how can we take these discussions further?
For at least the next week we will have women as the focus of our dialogue, although we hope it remains a constant theme of this dialogue, and we encourage you to create your own topics to discuss various issues from a gender perspective, including: prosperity and economic development; urban poverty; workplace and employment inequalities; as well as the work of international advocacy organizations, and examples of the empowerment of women through land and housing initiatives, for example.
Attached is a UN-Habitat report entitled ‘Gender Equality for Smarter Cities’, which may raise some questions and debates.
To get the discussion started - what are the most important issues that should inform the way we make cities places of equal opportunity and prosperity for women?