Gender equity in planning rehabilitated /redeveloped colonies


It was once said, and very rightly by Helen Clark “Any serious shift towards more sustainable societies has to include gender equality”. Urban planning affects the sustainability, accessibility, usability, design and quality of places. Since the way women and men live their lives differs, urban planning may well deepen inequalities if gender differences are not recognised and taken into account in plans and projects. And since gender cuts across other equality groupings such as disability, age and religion, a need exists to ensure that planning addresses diverse groups of women and men.


Title: Gender equity in planning rehabilitated /redeveloped colonies


To understand design considerations,plans, policies and programmes to promote gender equality in redeveloped and disaster struck areas colonies.


  • To integrate gender perspectives in a renewed approach to design human settlements and infrastructure development of any urban/rural setting.
  • To acknowledge the key principles for gender based planning in rehabilitated/redeveloped colonies that can be perceived as helpful to women, children,government,developers and practitioners.
  • To formulate and strengthen policies and practices to promote the full and equal participation by women in municipal decision-making by ensuring necessary provisions for an equitable distribution of power and authority.
  • To accord every opportunity for full access and participation by women


  • To understand the importance of gender in the process of planning rehabilitated colonies(housing typology, street design and street activities, recreational areas,religious points etc).
  • To do a gender sensitive analysis and gender impact assessment to recognise and make visible the unremunerated work of women and conscious effort made by them to improve the living condition of their
  • Study the role of NGO’s and other state agencies to accord every opportunity for full access and participation by women in municipal decision-making .
  • To examine the number of female headed households in these colonies and then analyse if they shoulder the burden of poverty other than other households.
  • To underline the gap between policy and practice in these colonies that enhance gender inequality.
  • Study of the impact of culture and traditions resulting in a barrier to enhance women’s  productivity, growth and income in a society.


The research doesn’t include broad spectrum of general literature on women rights theory and practices.

Need for Study: The study highlights various aspects which needs consideration for establishing equity. A brief information under different aspects has been provided below. A detailed version can be downloaded by clicking the link provided at the end of this post.

The different needs of women and men – Having outlined the international commitment to gender equality, this section goes on to examine the different needs of women and men in relation to employment, livelihoods, Land and housing, social and physical infrastructure and everyday life. It is important for planners to keep asking how proposed plans and projects will alleviate gender inequality And disadvantage and promote equity. Significant global variations in inequality and disadvantage exist, not only between men and women, but among different groups of each. This examination is not exhaustive. Instead, sex-disaggregation of data in this report draws on research to provide snapshots of situations in developing and developed countries.

Employment – the employment status of men and women varies greatly around the world. Women are more likely to earn less than men for doing the same type of work and are less likely to have a regular income or salaried position than men .


According to a report by The Hindu updated on may 18, 2016 00:15 ist  ‘amid a raging debate over gender pay gap globally, a new report shows the figure for india stands as high as 27 per cent, where men earned a median gross hourly salary of rs. 288.68, while women earned rs, 207.85 per hour’.women continue to be under-represented in areas such as public sector governance and the built environment professions, and over-represented in areas such as service industry employment and unpaid roles in family businesses.

Livelihoods – good planning and community development can ensure that women in informal sectors are able to take their produce to a safe place for sale or exchange. Research shows that female-headed households are more likely to shoulder the burden of poverty than other both developed and developing countries, women-headed households are increasingly common, although the causes vary. Reliance on one income makes these households extremely vulnerable. Domestic work, self-employment and casual or part-time labour offer little legal protection or security. If this income is lost, household members in some places may turn to prostitution, credit debt or illegal work to make ends meet.

Land and housing – secure tenure and equal property rights are critical issues for women, and these depend in large part on their ability to own land and housing. In patriarchal societies, women can be excluded from the purchase of property, inheritance and decisions about land and property resources. The death of a spouse can make women subject to eviction by relatives—a practice common throughout india and africa. Many countries have limited legal protection for women’s property rights, and where it does exist it is not always acted upon, owing to weak enforcement and acquiescence to patriarchal power.

Infrastructure – both physical and social infrastructure need to be coordinated as part of the urban planning and development process to ensure all residents access to livelihoods and services. Planners need to work closely with communities and representative groups working in these areas. Planning for social infrastructure has often lacked consideration of the specific needs of women, for example childcare and day centres, shelters and refugees for women escaping violence. This has resulted from women having less say in the planning of municipal services and reflects a lack of equitable political and professional representation.

Water and sanitation – studies show that women still share the burden of collecting water. Women are more than twice as likely as men to collect water, while children are the main water collectors in 11 per cent of households .issues of water scarcity will become more acute as a result of climate change and population growth. This in turn impacts the ability to deal with wastewater and sanitation.

Waste disposal – for women in developing countries because they often take on the role of waste disposal. Yet, women are rarely involved in the design of waste disposal and recycling facilities.there is little provision for the social infrastructure to ensure that communities understand the health hazards associated with handling particular types of waste and the implications of this for the health of women and children. Planning for infrastructure is about equity of roles in the household. Where societies are marginalized to start with, women will experience multiple disadvantages .

Transport – it is only within the last decade that policy-makers and practitioners in developing countries have recognised gender differences in the way women and men travel. After walking, mass transit is the most common form of transport for women and men in much of the world. Women tend to use mass transit at off-peak times and make shorter trips at more varied times.transport researchers Kunieda and Gautheire stated, ‘poor women and men do not travel less; they travel under more duress and in worse conditions’ than higher-income residents.studies around the world show that gender determines what form of transport is used and the way users view transport, and that some universal concerns prevail. In some countries, owing to cultural or religious traditions, women are restricted from using public transport or bicycles.


Clearly, urban planning, or lack thereof, can enable or impede women’s and men’s access to jobs, homes, transport and essential services. Urban planning has the potential to affect the sustainability, accessibility, usability, design and quality of places. Since the way women and men live their lives differs, the accessibility and usability of places are therefore gendered. Contemporary urban planning processes, particularly in developing countries, have tended not to distinguish among the specific needs of women, men, boys and girls, and as a result, they have not adequately addressed gender equality when gender is placed at the centre of planning for infrastructure, housing, employment, livelihoods and health, education, gender inequality can start to be tackled.

Keywords: Gender-sensitive, Sex-disaggregation of data, Women’s empowerment, Gender mainstreaming, Gender impact assessment

About the author


Samreen is an Architect, she earned her Bachelor of Architecture degree from F/o Architecture and Ekistics,Jamia Millia Islamia in 2016 with merit honours in it. Currently she is pursuing her masters (M.Arch in Urban  Regeneration) from Jamia University. She has a strong inclination towards Humanitarian Architecture and is also an avid writer.

Previously, she has worked with conservation Architect Abha Narain Lambah and conducted surveys of various JJ clusters of Delhi while working with DUSIB:Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board,Govt of NCT.

More detailed work can be downloaded here.



Gender and Urban Planning: Issues and Trends
Copyright © United Nations Human Settlements Programme 2012
Jarvis, H. J. Cloke and P. Kantor (2009) Cities and Gender,
Routledge, London
Levy, C. (1993) An Introduction to the Gender Planning
Methodology in the Project Cycle, mimeo, unpublished
Moser, C. (1993) Gender Planning and Development,
Routledge, London
Petrie, P. (2005) Survey of Women and Men in Planning,
Presentation to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research
(IWPR) Conference, Washington, D.C.
UN-Habitat (undated) Participatory Budgeting,
UN-Habitat (2009b) Planning Sustainable Cities: Policy
Directions, Earthscan, London
Women’s National Commission (2000) Future Female – A
21st Century Gender Perspective, Women’s National Commission, London
World Bank (2002) Cities on the Move, Transport Strategy
Review, Geneva: World Bank, .
World Economic Forum (2007) Global Gender Gap,WEF,Geneva
World Health Organisation (WHO) (2008) Our Cities, Our
Health, Our Future, Acting on Social Determinants for
Health Equity in Urban Settings. Report to the WHO
Commission on Social Determinants of Health

Kindly contact at [email protected] to request more information about author/ dissertation