Procedurally, women in urban areas are often significantly under-represented in decision-making processes. The challenges that men and women face in their day-to-day lives in cities and therefore the priorities that they would like to be addressed through planning are different. This is the case in terms of employment, land and housing, and infrastructure. The employment status and average earnings of men and women vary greatly; women are often disadvantaged with regards to land and housing ownership rights, while physical infrastructure provision often excludes consideration of women’s needs and priorities. Thus contemporary urban planning is still critiqued for failing to address such specific needs of women and men. Participatory approaches, especially those that are more transformative, offer much potential to address gender imbalances with regards to both the procedural and substantive aspects of urban planning.
Planning Sustainable Cities: Global Report on Human Settlements 2009