This Sunday the 8th of March is the 109th International Women’s Day. International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, and increasing visibility, while calling out inequality.
The Campaign theme for IWD 2020, #Each for Equal is drawn from a notion of ‘Collective Individualism’ which encourages individuals to strive for a more equal world to have a collective impact.
The staff at Human Habitats were challenged with the question of how can each one of us as planners and designers help create a gender equal world. Each staff member made a tangible pledge about the actions they as an individual can make to create this change.
Director Rachel Smithers summarised in an inspiring presentation a number of action items that the design and planning community can undertake. These action items include:
- Introduction of departmental gender budgeting – reporting at least annually on how expenditure has benefited men and women equally;
- Create gender sensitivity criteria for new housing projects – a checklist to ensure that mainstreaming is not dependent on individual interest;
- Understand why open spaces areas are underutilised by girls and women and redesigning them – inclusion of well-lit widened footpaths and new facilities, such as volleyball courts, to provide an alternative to the typical male-dominated sports such as ‘fenced in’ basketball courts; and
- Advocate and implement gender-sensitivity guidelines for all new parks.
Human Habitats will strive to create a more equal world, as a more equal world is an enabled world.