Women's Negotiation of Domestic Spaces in Slums: The Roles of Physical Environment on Practical Gender Needs in Hajaribagh and Ganaktuli Sweeper's Colony, Dhaka.

  • Sultana Zakia Rahman Architect
Keywords: Slums, Domestic Space, Women's Negotiation, Practical Gender Needs


This article investigates women's nature and extent of negotiation of domestic spaces by understanding the role physical environment in slums play in addressing their practical gender needs. While slum area and population in large cities of developing countries are increasing, women among the urban poor suffer doubly from the denial of their human rights on account of gender inequality as well as due to poverty and hence, often are unable to negotiate their Practical Gender Needs. This paper shows how poor women negotiate domestic space use to fulfill their practical gender needs and implies a far-reaching impact on society and conducts a case study of Ganaktuli and Hajaribagh Sweeper's Colony, manifesting slums in Dhaka. This investigation is based on both quantitative and qualitative data with 20 dwelling samples taken for more detailed study from each site. The research Bilndings revealed that in general, women's inability to negotiate domestic spaces in slums results in failure to address their practical gender needs. This also hinders the growth of a gender-sensitive domestic environment, women being the prime users of such spaces. The roles of domestic space useand organization catering to negotiation toward fulfillment of women's gender needs remain crucial for future interventions in a gender-sensitive low-income housing.

Author Biography

Sultana Zakia Rahman, Architect