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Women, slums and urbanisation : Examining the causes and consequences

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Women, slums and urbanisation : Examining the causes and consequences


femme, bidonville, violence, urbanisation, migration urbaine, Mumbai, Colombo, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Accra, Nairobi, women, genre, gender, COHRE


A first of its kind, this COHRE report examines the worldwide phenomenon of urbanisation from the point of view of women’s housing rights.
The report focuses, in particular, on the experiences of women and girls living in slum communities throughout the world, premised on the idea that both the causes and consequences of urbanisation for women are, in fact, unique and deeply related to issues of gender. Unfortunately, the question of women’s migration to the cities has, for too long, remained largely under-addressed and unexamined.
Activists and scholars alike have tended to overlook and neglect women’s particular experiences within the context of ever increasing urban growth. Shining the light on these experiences makes this study truly distinctive.

Working across the Americas, Asia, and Africa, COHRE interviewed women and girls living in six global cities, representing some twenty different (and indeed, diverse) slum communities.
The stories shared by these women and girls elucidated the very personal struggles which women face in their day-to-day lives, as well as the broader connections that these struggles have to issues of gender-based violence, gender discrimination, and women’s housing insecurity. In turn – as this report makes clear – for women, these issues are themselves intimately connected to the global trend towards urban growth.


Multiple authors




May 2008