Gender Inclusivity and Development in South African Public Urban Spaces
Many who venture into the city, especially in the global South, come into fulfil their developmental needs, find employment, and earn a liveable income. Many who arrive in these urban areas must contend with a heightened concern over crime and violence. Inequalities exist in the fear of personal safety across different genders, different socio-economic classes, and racial groupings. The South African government has been criticised for being unable to engage effectively in the primary prevention of violence against women, whilst instead concentrating efforts on the development of service responses to violence against women. There are recurring issues in urban development and redevelopment including bad lighting, poor sanitation, and a lack of safe public space that pose a significant threat to the safety of women, and increases the risk of gender-based violence. This Chapter shows how the current state and use of urban design (physical and natural city infrastructure) accommodates productive, reproductive and community roles as they attempt to use urban space (e.g. to access education and work) and relate this to vulnerability to gender-based violence. It finds that progress has been slow at best in addressing the safety and developmental needs of women within the urban space and concludes that much more needs to be done to address gender-based violence and that more research is needed in areas such as transport and its relationship to gender, which was found to be an under researched area.
KeywordsGender Social inclusion Urban development Violence Vulnerability Women Safety
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