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Gender aspects in urban human settlement planning


Rangajeewa Ratnayake

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(The spelling ofthe author's name was changed from Patanyake to Ratanyake on 11/06/2012).

The main trust of planners is to create inclusive human settlements. Inclusive planning approach recognizes the needs and aspirations of all social groups and thereby creates a livable environment for all social groups. Women comprise the majority of the population in almost all the societies in the world. Even though women constitute the majority of the total population, gender specific considerations have not been effectively addressed in land use planning and development planning in most of the developing countries and Sri Lanka is no exception. Therefore it is high time to address gender considerations in land use planning. One may not agree with the view points expressed in this article. However the objective of this article is to encourage debate among planners on the view points expressed in this article. This article discusses that gender studies are concerned needs of both women and men. However urban and rural womens' needs are different and complex than the needs of men. Women daily activities, transport needs are different those of men.

This article discusses the implications of mono land use practices on women by not integrating shopping areas, open spaces and nursery areas in housing neighborhoods. Attention is also paid as to how the safety in the built environment and availability of open spaces affect especially the social mobility of women. This article highlights gender and poverty and planning problems of families headed by women in Sri Lanka.

If women occupy decision making positions in society, they can also address womens' aspirations. This article discusses the status of women in public office in Sri Lanka and trend patterns of women in mainstream politics in Sri Lanka.

The latter part of this article discusses the possible Gender Planning Frameworks that can be used in human settlement process.

DOI: 10.4038/besl.v7i2.1944

Built-Environment Sri Lanka Vol.7(2) 54-59

How to Cite: Ratnayake, R., 2010. Gender aspects in urban human settlement planning. Built-Environment Sri Lanka, 7(2), pp.54–59. DOI:
Published on 31 May 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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