Call for contributions to Gender & Development’s March 2015 Issue “Working On Gender Issues In Urban Areas”

G&D is published for Oxfam by Routledge/Taylor and Francis, and is essential reading for international development researchers, policymakers, and practitioners. G&D is currently read in over 90 countries. It is published as an online/print journal at Content is also available free: access online at

Cities are home to over half the world’s people. While they can present opportunities for some to improve their lives, a billion live in slums and this is expected to double by 2030. Women and men live very different lives in the city where gender inequality compounds the economic, political and social risks and privations of life in poor households and communities. Women and girls are positioned in the most insecure parts of the labour market, and excluded from many of the decision-making processes that affect their lives. Men’s traditional role as family heads and decision-makers is reflected in power and governance structures in urban areas. Overcoming gender inequality and promoting women’s equal rights is critical to ensure our cities are decent places to inhabit today, and sustainable into the future. Cities can also be engines of positive change – small changes in power structures may have the potential to affect wider change that benefits people not only in urban areas, but throughout a country or region.

This issue hopes to explore the innovative work which is being done on gender and urbanisation. We particularly want to draw out the elements of programming that are unique to urban areas. We are looking for grounded case studies of real experience from developing countries, with a strong gender analysis, written by development/humanitarian practitioners, researchers, and policymakers who have interesting experience to share. The issue will support colleagues to understand how to work in urban environments in ways which respond fully to the interests and needs of women and men, girls and boys living in poverty in the global South.

G&D has an editorial policy of publishing in clear, jargon-free English, in order to be of use to the widest possible readership. All articles need to be based on first-hand experience, or research on-the-ground in particular country contexts, and have direct relevance to development policy and practice. Don’t worry if you have not written for a journal – we will help you with style and language.

We envisage articles on the following areas – but please suggest others to us:

  • What is different about addressing gender in urban areas compared with rural areas? Articulating the uniquely urban dimensions of gender is a necessary first step in planning an intervention.
  • Community mobilisation in poor urban areas: how can we better address the gender dimensions of urban poverty when the notion of ‘community’ is complicated by transient populations, time constraints, ethnic and linguistic differences, etc.?
  • Community participation and ‘citizenship’ in urban governance: what practical mechanisms can we put in place to ensure the genuine inclusion of poor urban women and men in contributing to decision-making processes that shape their lives, especially given the complex layers of governance and the higher number of actors with power in urban settings?
  • Transformative approaches to provision of basic services: case studies of work with and for women, who as primary care givers have a particularly acute need for decent basic services in the city including health, education, and transformative ways of working to improve sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. This is not only a practical need of women but the impact of this work on women’s security and on their workloads makes it a strategic issue which requires a transformative approach to maximise its potential.
  • Gender and social accountability: what mechanisms can we use to increase accountability amongst power holders in urban areas, specifically in relation to the provision of basic services like health, education, and water and sanitation?
  • Housing and land: working in empowering ways with women slum-dwellers to secure their right to a home (often their workplace as well as their domestic base) Schemes for decent and affordable housing, including housing finance schemes, and improving tenure security.
  • Food security in the city: as women are often tasked with buying and preparing food, and many are employed in the food sector, what can we do to ensure sustainability, ease of access, affordability, quality, and improved employment opportunities in the food sector?
  • Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction: increasing vulnerability to extreme weather, often related to climate change, is giving rise to innovative work promoting women’s leadership in disaster management, with gender equality as an important factor for success. As women are often more vulnerable in urban settings, how can we better support them to reduce disaster risk and adapt to climate change? How can we better respond to emergencies in urban settings? How can these objectives be linked to wider goals of building urban resilience?
  • Supporting women’s livelihoods in the cities: women’s comparatively low education in many countries, added to their positioning as primary carer for the family and household leads to them being concentrated in the most insecure and informal, low-input areas of the labour market. We would like examples of transformative work which goes beyond a poverty focus to support women’s rights and empowerment. We are especially interested in examples of transformative change at scale.
  • Violence and security in the city: ways of working on the issues, including partnerships between governments and city planners working with community groups and women’s networks, to improve safety and security through greater gender-sensitivity in urban design and transport, to promote safe and socially inclusive cities that offer safety and security for all residents, regardless of age, ethnicity, sex, or disability.
  • ICTs in urban programming: the higher use of mobiles, computers, and the internet in urban areas provides new opportunities in development programming. We welcome examples of how ICTs have been used in innovative ways to address gender dimensions of urban poverty.Please send a paragraph outlining your proposed idea for an article for this issue to[email protected] as soon as possible, and before the commissioning deadline: 31 July2014. If we are able to offer space for your contribution, we will write to you by 7 August 2014 to say so. Commissioned articles will need to be completed for a deadline of 31 October 2014.For full guidelines and more information on the journal visit 


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