Womxn in Flux

Ntombizethu Shube

M1

Supervisors:

Dr. Finzi Saidi, Jabu Absalom Makhubu, Dickson Adu Agyei, Mandy Schindler, Prof Antonio Tomas

Unit:

15 X- Remembering public Space

A Gendered Adaptation - A response to public space needs in a highly gendered urban context.
“You cannot address climate change without addressing the issue of gender inequality.”
- Mr. Jacob Kayombo, Gender Specialist, Tanzania Commission for Aids (TACAIDS)

This thesis is an exploration of the use and access to public space by women in Sunna, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Place and gender continue to be socially constructed. Society and traditions have positioned women below men and relegated women to the sphere of the ‘private’ – the home and its related domestic activities. Feminism has achieved great strides in the liberation of women, however, access and the use of public space have not been equalised between women and men.

‘Womxn in Flux’ seeks to centre the experiences of Tanzanian women and how they navigate the public realm for purposes other than running errands, conducting business or going to school. I am interested in how women can simply exist and aimlessly wander or loiter in the public realm (flâneur).

By their very nature, city streets provide opportunities to create life ‘in-between’ the more strongly defined entities of home, school, office and markets. However, in many parts of our continent, women are denied a claim to city streets. The non-private realm is not always ‘public’ in the Western sense. Our public spaces are often segregated along class, gender or age lines in subtle ways that create barriers for women and the poor in accessing public and recreational spaces.

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