The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU Working Paper - No. 46

Women's participation in the housing process: The case of Kirillapone, Sri Lanka


3 December 1985

Author: Marina W.G. Fernando

Publication Date: 1985

The decade which has marked International Women's Year has seen a wide range of studies of issues relating to the integration of women with developmental aims and processes. Studies which focused on economic development have identified the unequal political and social relations between men and women beneficiaries, as one of the greatest barriers to women's economic progress. Conversely, analyses of women's social situation have traced their marginality to their unequal relationship with men.

This interdependence of factors is nowhere more evident than in the field of housing. Housing is not merely an end product, providing shelter or space or social and economic security. Housing is also a process through which people make decisions about their location, employment, labour, skills, health, recreation and a host of other factors which affect their lives (Turner 1972). Housing as a process generates skills, defines relationships, evokes a sense of identity and affords control over the physical environment. Decisions about where to build and who will build are vital in determining this process and its outcome.

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