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Culture and World Affairs

Gender and Global Urbanization presetnation

Attia Nasar

on 28 April 2010

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Transcript of Culture and World Affairs

Gender and Global Urbanization How adequate are the scenarios presented in Global Trends 2025? What information is missing in the report? Has the report sufficiently taken into account cultural variables? What are other plausible scenarios for 2025? GENDER Projections for Women in Education: declining fertility rates, improved maternal health, less orphans, increased overall societal stability, higher GPD
URBANIZATION projections for Global Urbanization: 57% of global population living in urban areas, addition of eight megacities, expansion of cities along highways and coalescing near crossroads and coastlines, without formal sector job growth or adequate services GENDER SCENARIOS:
- When mentioned, the scenarios are marginally adequate
- They are narrow in scope, not global
- The trends mentioned are vague

Trends regarding gender
Increased involvement of women has improved:
- social issues
- economic development
- political reform

Missing information
- where the scenario will take place
- specifics on how these conclusions were drawn
- why?
- Rather complete
- conclusions appear backed by quantitative analysis
- focus mainly on issues of resource allocation and scarcity

Trends regarding urbanization
- urbanization leads to resource scarcity
- shift from rural to urban likely to continue
- lack of suitable jobs
- increase in conflict along ethnic lines

Missing information
- lack of some definitions
- limited to the effect of urbanization on physical resources and economic development Many variables influence the behavior of individuals within a culture (Sanchez-Boyce, 1993). The following variables are important to consider:

• Educational level
• Degree of individualism or collectivism
• High context or low context
• Power distance (definition of power and leadership, distribution & perception of power, importance of hierarchy)

• Uncertainty avoidance
• Definition and rigidity of gender roles (masculinity vs. femininity)
• Attitudes about technology and the environment
• Perceptions of space and time • Socioeconomic status/upward class mobility
• Age and gender
• Religious beliefs and their impact on daily life activities
• Degree of acculturation into mainstream national life
• Generational membership (first, second, third generation) Projections for Women in Education: (declining fertility rates, improved maternal health, societal stability, higher GPD)
-What cultural variables weren’t considered?
Definition and rigidity of gender roles
Purpose of education
Degree of collectivism vs. individualism
Uncertainty avoidance Projections for Women in Politics: (changing governmental priorities to social issues like healthcare, the environment, and economic development)
-What cultural variables weren’t considered?
Definition of gender roles
Religious beliefs
Definition of power, leadership, and political issues
Projections for Women’s impact on Religious Extremism: (entering workforce & challenging traditional gender norms and family structures)
-What cultural variables weren’t considered?
Couldn’t it be vice versa?
Why only focused on Islam?
What about other forms of religious extremism? Would it play out differently because of differences in cultural variables?
Urbanization will be seen as a positive economic force
Asia will dominate as a world exporter, taking reigns in scientific and technological advancements
Asia and Africa will join Latin America as having a majority of urban residents Urban Population Numbers:
1.97 billion by 2000
3.90 billion by 2030
5.26 billion by 2050 United Nations Population Division Report
2030 - major regions of the developing world will hold more urban than rural dwellers
2050 - two-thirds of developing world inhabitants are likely to live in urban areas
exponential growth in cities and towns of poor countries
This urbanization is influenced by a multitude of trends:
Decentralization of governments of poor countries
Evolving international development strategies to fulfill the Millennium Development Goals
urban implications of global climate change

- lack of some definitions
- limited to the effect of urbanization on physical resources and economic development Nat Geo 2015 Projection for MegaCities
Nat Geo 2000 MegaCities
Less well provided with improved sanitation and adequate supplies of drinking water I came with my husband with dreams of a better life in Mumbai. But after coming here, I was shocked to see the conditions I was subjected to live in. I’m completely [at] the mercy of my husband here. He abuses me and hits me for no reason. Seeing his behaviour towards me, my two sons also don’t respect me at all. I don’t understand where to go to get rid of this life. I cannot go back, as my father is no more, and mother is living with my brother’s family. My husband doesn’t allow me to work and doesn’t give me money, as well. So, I take up the embroidery assignments to generate some income for myself. Sometimes, I just feel like dying, as I don’t have any reason to live.
– A young mother living in Azmi Nagar Slum (Mumbai, India) Push factors - life events, circumstances, human rights violations, or other conditions which serve to deteriorate standards of living or otherwise make life in one’s original home less manageable or less stable (e.g.armed conflict, forced eviction, domestic violence, disinheritance, or the collapse of rural economies).

Pull factors - factors which serve to attract people to urban areas and to the slums (e.g. improved economic opportunities (real or perceived), better services, reunification with family members) Women and men may migrate to the slums for different reasons, or they may decide to make the move because of catalytic life events which are gender-specific.

Women’s status as women – regardless of where they live – seems to fundamentally impact their trajectory into the slums and gender also shapes the experiences of women once they settle in slum communities. A CASE STUDY - KENYA
Rapid urbanization - estimated rate of 7.3%/yr, making it one of the most rapidly urbanizing countries in all of Africa
Population in urban centers has increased to 34.5&--from about 18.3% less than a
decade ago.
Proportion of urbanized population is expected to increase to ~50% by 2015
In 10 years (1989–1999), urban population swelled from 3.88 million to ~10 million, representing a staggering 155% increase. Today, >45% of Kenya’s urban population are living in Nairobi city. Nairobi’s population is estimated at about 2.14 million, 55 per cent of whom live in informal settlements.

Nairobi’s slums are characterized by:
inadequate housing
delinquency and crime
a lack of clean water
insufficient drainage
poor sanitation
a lack of adequate public transport
and environmental degradation Movement of women into Nairobi traditionally restricted to women joining husbands
Urban centers considered a domain of men, as was paid employment
•Women seen by authorities as encouraging prostitution, an attitude widely shared in the rural areas.
As the restrictions set by colonial administrators and social perceptions changed - women’s movement into urban areas became freer.
The driving force behind urban migration soon became economic opportunity. MATHARE SLUM
third largest slum in Africa, situated in Nairobi
40% of women had been disinherited of their marital homes

many women whose husbands died of AIDS-related diseases were presumed infected by their communities
in-laws may send them away on accusation that they will infect more people in the family and spread the disease to the entire community.
children, also presumed infected, are similarly denied a share in their fathers’ property on the grounds that they have little time left and will die soon anyway. Even before actual disinheritance, women are coerced into giving up their property in order to escape escalating maltreatment
gender-based discrimination and violence as reasons to leave their former homes and flee to the city
often fell prey to harassment, neglect, and verbal or physical attacks, particularly at the hands of in-laws over land distribution
women say this action is condoned by the cultural belief that women cannot own property. customs dictate that immovable and movable property, such as land, houses, livestock, and other necessities, is best controlled by a male. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY Women in the Mathare:
general position of women in society (as submissive and relegated to second-class citizen) is largely responsible for their problems.
Women moved to Nairobi in pursuit of economic activities and with a conviction that the city had more to offer them than did rural towns or villages
2 common scenarios:
1) Women whose husbands were not engaged in
any economic activities, and as a result, the family
was languishing in abject poverty
•Left husbands in village & after had established
themselves, encouraged husbands to join
2) Women who had been widowed, divorced, or
deserted by their spouses, or single women who
possessed no land or property.
•Left their children back home with their
relatives & once settled, able to send money
home for the care of their children
•some mothers brought children to live with them CIRCUMSTANCES OF WOMEN IN SLUMS:
don’t own houses - tenants to house-owners (i.e. landlords)
single rooms measuring 10’ x 10,’ and they are congested on a small tract of land
houses have little or no proper ventilation, leaking roofs, and crumbling walls; lack proper access routes & are poorly lit; fire outbreaks are a common occurrence URBANIZATION & WOMEN’S COST OF LIVING
landlords charge high rents & often refuse to provide maintenance on shacks in which women live
landlords often seize their property in case of failure to pay
landlords collect rents in harsh ways, sometimes by adding a lock to the door or removing the roof
female tenants are sometimes times harassed to exchange sex to have rent waived. URBANIZATION & WOMEN’S HEALTH
poor sanitation affects women and children the most, because they stay in the slums longer compared to men
a lack of proper sanitation is responsible for diseases, such as cholera, intestinal worms, and malaria, which are inescapable due to the waterlogged open gutters URBANIZATION & WOMEN’S PROTECTION
A lack of personal security in the slums is also of grave concern for women women
expressed concern that there were many incidents of rape and sexual assault in their communities, the majority of which go unreported.
Corrupt authorities fail to protect women from landlords and their abusive husbands. THANKS!
Questions/Comments? Projections for Women in Politics: changing governmental priorities to social issues like healthcare, the environment, and economic development Projections for Women’s impact on Religious Extremism: entering workforce & challenging traditional gender norms and family structures will decrease extremism in the long run
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