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Women-friendly cities and gender perspectives on urban policies

11.10.2017 / Created by (EMWF)
Women-friendly cities and gender perspectives on urban policies

What is women’s reconquest of the city? What is the place of women in the urban space and the transformation of cities? What does egalitarian governance mean at the local level? What is the influence of local elected representatives on the policies of the city? How to restore women’s memory? What are the challenges of the new Urban Agenda for Women? How can we better integrate refugee and migrant women in cities? All these questions were analyzed during the seminar "Women, Cities and Territories" held in the Department of Architecture of the Federico II University of Naples (Italy). Although women represent more than half of the population, they still face inequalities in the public space.

This seminar is part of a larger project: "Women, Cities and Territories, European Tour of Good Practices". This project identifies and compiles practices that encourage a real mix in the south and north of the Mediterranean (Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, Greece, Morocco ...). A seminar on the same subject was held in Lisbon on 29 and 30 September 2016 and was concluded by a manifesto.

In Naples, Françoise Morvan, president of the French Coordination of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), and one of the project’s founders together with the "Gender and City" research platform and other EWL national coordinators, reiterated the project’s challenge : "While insecurity hinders the mobility of women, violence against women becomes common practice, clothing restrictions control women on the streets, hospitals, universities, workplaces and recreational areas, we want to revolt against the patriarchal customs of the city ".

About 40 associations, researchers, elected representatives and architects discussed the urban choices that condition good living together. In total, some fifteen good practices have been exhibited, notably in Naples, Matera, Calabria region, Crotone, Campania and Sicily (Italy), Covilha (Portugal), and Paris (France), in addition to number of web applications, urban planning guides and a set of approaches to consult and sensitize inhabitants...

All these practices aims at widening the participation of women in the way of living, thinking and making the city. Thanks to citizen intervention, new technologies, traditional know-how, street art, etc., these initiatives reinforce citizens’ sense of belonging to their territory. They reflect a civic and political will to assert women’s right to a shared and safe public space, resilient and solidarity cities.

However, in order to transform cities, it is necessary to review the current models and to sensitize town planning services and technical teams (women-men) by looking at of the most innovative practices and encouraging international exchanges in this regard.

The Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation and the European Institute of the Mediterranean, one of the founding members of the FFEM, contributed actively to the seminar by shedding light on the role of women in the public space et the decision making at local levels.


PDF: Program of the seminar


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