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COURTESY OF CHURCH ACTION ON POVERTY
v Ripe for regeneration? Housing
estate in Manchester, England.
Gender: at the heart of regeneration
ORE women than men live in poverty on deprived estates. Women in general have lower incomes than men. They are more likely to be carers and they make up 91 per cent of lone parents. And while they are the majority in community groups, women are in the minority when it comes to making the decisions.
Meanwhile, more men are beaten up in the street, and boys are doing worse than girls at school. It is clear that social exclusion and regeneration cannot be addressed without taking gender issues into account, because men and women experience poverty differently. Gender lies at the heart of urban regeneration, which covers a wide range of services – housing, transport, education, health and crime. All these have different impacts on men and women. And yet gender issues are not always recognised when it comes to regeneration schemes.
Why the silence?
So why is this? The UK has had some form of regeneration policy for at least 35 years. But throughout that time, gender has only been used to highlight ‘problems’ such as single parents and underachieving boys. Research has shown some of the reasons for this:1 q Lack of government requirements for regeneration projects to tackle gender issues. q Too few statistics broken down by gender; too little monitoring or evidence of good practice on gender issues. q Barriers to participation and consultation with communities, and women in particular. q Failure to set gender-specific targets and outputs.
In recent years regeneration work has started to look at social exclusion and community participation. This has opened up the possibility of putting gender on the agenda. When gender issues have been taken on board, it has made a significant difference. Better targeting and results are obtained for the whole community through an awareness of women and men’s differing needs. Women’s confidence, skills and participation have grown. Communities have gained greater understanding on which to build programmes and funding applications. The projects outlined on the next pages give a glimpse of the many facets of regeneration policy and how it can be improved by making gender central to all aspects of its work.
UK Poverty Programme
v Graffiti on Gellideg
housing estate in Wales.
1 Participation and social inclusion
PHOTO COURTESY OF WOMEN'S DESIGN SERVICE
F women are single pensioners, unemployed, Pakistani or Bangladeshi, teenage heads of household, or tenants, they are more likely to be poor than men with the same characteristics. They are also likely to be excluded from decisions about their lives. The following projects illustrate how involving them can make a big difference…
Somirun Bibi (right) and Rukban Rouf, Women and Regeneration Project volunteers.
Since I’ve been working on this project I’ve done all sorts of things I haven’t done before.
Somirun Bibi, volunteer, Women and Regeneration project
Gellideg is an estate in Merthyr Tydfil, an area with some of the highest indices of deprivation in Wales. In 1998, six local women got together and formed the Gellideg Foundation Group. With Oxfam’s help, they began to ask some fundamental questions about the 3,500 people who lived on the estate. Did women and men experience poverty differently? How could they be involved in improving their situation? What had to happen to bring about change? Interviews looked at the different needs of men and women and issues around training and employment, childcare, stereotyping, low self-esteem and low expectations. Gender analysis focused on how women and men, old and young, coped differently with their different situations. The Foundation made recommendations for change at local, regional and national levels. They successfully applied for European funding to carry some of these out. And they found that the process had changed them as well. The Women and Regeneration Project was part of the Women’s Design Service. The project aimed to build the capacity of women to influence the decisions and policies of their regeneration partnership boards and develop guidance for good practice. It focused on the involvement of specific groups, including elderly women, disabled women, ethnic minority women and women on low incomes. Case studies included community consultation exercises where local women undertook surveys of women’s perceptions and needs in regeneration. For example, one of their findings was that Black and minority ethnic women experience racism and discrimination when using the built environment. One disabled woman noted how difficult it was to get around: ‘You can only wait so long at a bus stop… after the third or fourth bus goes past, when the driver says the ramp does not work, it’s much more tempting to turn around and go home.’ The project resulted in increased skills for the women involved – and better information for policy makers.
We don’t recognise ourselves – we’re so gender aware now, we even heckled the stand-up comic on our Christmas night out for sexual stereotyping!
Mark Connolly, Gellideg Foundation Group
PHOTO: RACHEL MORTON/OXFAM
2 Gender mainstreaming: building in not building on
UTTING gender at the centre of regeneration schemes can make them more successful. Glasgow Women and Social Inclusion Working Group (GWSIWG) has been working with regeneration decision-makers to raise awareness of gender issues and to use gender impact assessment tools to support improved regeneration.
Mainstreaming is a strategy that Projects are beginning to emerge in other SIP areas that aims to make equality respond to the different needs of men and women. The considerations a Healthy Living Project, while broadly constructed, has regular part of the specifically targeted men’s health issues in the Gorbals, and mainstream policy Greater Easterhouse has undertaken a review of women’s services in the area.2 process. It entails building in equality In 2000, South Yorkshire obtained European funding through Objective 1. As such funding includes a requirement to mainrather than building it stream gender, this became central to all regeneration projects. on to existing policies As a result, there have been a number of initiatives including: and programmes.3
q A cross-cutting themes team whose role is to embed gender equality in all aspects of the funding process. q A Gender Task Group which scrutinises and coordinates activity throughout the programme. q A fund for positive action projects to tackle labour market segregation; promote work-life balance in employment; to advance gender balance in decision making and target unemployed men and women’s employment. q A gender manager to oversee projects and progress on mainstreaming. q A gender champion to actively promote understanding among staff, partners and project applicants. q Research on baseline information to monitor gender, ethnicity and disability and monitor the gender balance of all programme structures.
Engendering the work of SIPS in Glasgow, Rona Fitzgerald, 2002
Individual meetings with Social Inclusion Partnership (SIP) members led to the commissioning of a study into the awareness of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in SIPs. An agreement followed that a gender impact assessment would be undertaken in a SIP Greater Govan SIP Oxfam and . , others are currently working on a longer-term Gender Development Programme, including gender impact assessment and capacity building for participants. Also planned is work on learning and advocacy, to ensure that lessons learnt from the programme can inform regeneration practice in Scotland and elsewhere more widely in the future.
We must be more organised. We need a structure to broaden out involvement and to build a strong lobbying organisation.4
Laura Moynahan, Netherthorpe and Upperthorpe Community Alliance
DAVID ROSE/PANOS PICTURES
v Poor quality 1950s
housing regeneration in Drumchapel, Glasgow, Scotland.
3 Employment and training
HILE almost half of housing employees are women, they tend not to work in the professions that construct the environment in which we live. In 1996, only 9% of chartered surveyors, 12% of architects, and 23% of registered town planners were women.5 Projects which encourage and train women in such professions are therefore crucial in getting women’s ideas and skills into the built environment.
In April 2002, the South Yorkshire Women’s Development Trust was established to provide a voice for women across the region, to provide links between different people and organisations, and to look at accessing funding and sharing resources and expertise. The Trust coordinates a number of projects related to regeneration and gender under the European Union’s Objective 1 funding. One of these projects is WITBE – Women in the Built Environment, which works directly with women to provide professional guidance. Jennie Fortune, an architect from Sheffield Hallam University’s School of Environment and Development says: ‘Many women and girls are put off jobs in the built environment because of the macho image and perceptions of the behaviour that goes on. We offer structured support to women and girls going into training and jobs in the built environment.’ One WITBE initiative took sixth form girls from South Yorkshire schools to a day event. ‘In the morning, the girls surveyed a dilapidated old shop with a brief to turn it into a snazzy new cafe/bar. They were shown how to look for damp and defects, how to change the structure, and think about access and building regulations. Later, they designed the cafe/bar, taking everything they’d learned in the morning into account. The day ended with a visit to a Gleeson’s building site in Sheffield. The girls’ verdict on the day: ‘a brilliant day’; ‘thank you for the experience’; ‘it has made me seriously consider construction as a job’ and ‘as a result I am going to apply for the architecture course at Hallam University’.6
On a personal note this period (2002 2003) ends with an air of optimism because I have seen the huge opportunities available to us as women and as an organisation.
Isadora Aiken, South Yorkshire Women’s Development Trust
s Almost half of all women have total individual incomes of less than £100 a week, compared with less than a fifth of men.7 s In one survey, 16.5% of women and 9.2% of men said they did not have even a ‘small amount of money’ to spend on themselves each week.8
Facts on gender, poverty and regeneration
PHOTO: WITBE (www.shu.ac.uk/schools/sed/witbe)
v Sixth form girls learning
4 Crime and disorder
EAR makes it a problem for many women to go out on the streets, especially in deprived areas. In one survey, 42% of women but only 16.5% of men felt restricted because they felt unsafe,9 although men are more at risk from violence on the streets. Becoming aware of such gender issues can help to combat crime and fear of crime.
about building renovation.
A report on gender mainstreaming in Thurrock, in South Essex, recognised that crime was an issue for women and that measures needed to be taken by the council to reduce crime and fear of crime against women. q In 2001 members of the voluntary and statutory agencies established a Violence Against Women Alliance (VAWA). The VAWA Joint Investment Plan addresses the needs of women, and offers a gender-sensitive approach. q The police have specific targets to cut street crime and car crime. Locally they operate a proactive policing policy, and are working to increase police responses to incidents of domestic violence. q The police, working in partnership with Thurrock Life Line Community Call centre, established a new service aimed at providing support and assistance for people suffering from domestic violence, crime and racial harassment. q South Essex Rape and Incest Crisis Centre (RESPECT) works with young people using drama and discussion to raise issues such as power and control within relationships, sexual and domestic violence, pregnancy, and drug and alcohol misuse. q Work at Oak Wood has been undertaken to improve visibility into the forest from the road to enhance safety for women users. q Five street wardens had been appointed (with one more waiting to take up their post). As a result of a conscious diversity policy, these were two women and three men from white, Asian and Black African ethnic backgrounds.
Where have the last 25 years gone and what have we seen for it? From childcare to eldercare the barriers remain… We need a steamroller to move women’s issues forwards in regeneration.10
Pat Midgeley, Lord Mayor of Sheffield
Women (of all ages)… are largely invisible in the National Strategy for Neighbourhood Renewal.11
Young, urban and female, YWCA, 2001
s Only 30% of minority ethnic women are managers or professionals, compared to 40% of black men, even though 52% of black women have further and higher education qualifications, compared to 28% of white women and 36% of black men.12
s Men are twice as likely as women to be sacked or 13 made redundant. s 91% of lone parents are women: lone mothers and older single women are most likely to suffer from chronic or persistent poverty.14
v Fundraising stall held by
Cae Mawr (FOJ) community group, Llandudno, Wales.
T is obvious from these examples just how much the projects and the people involved in them have benefited from bringing an awareness of gender to their work. They recognise that gender lies at the very heart of what they are doing in regeneration. Taking into account the everyday lives of men and women has helped them to reach their targets more effectively and sustainably. The following recommendations have emerged from people who want to pass this realisation, and ideas for its practical implementation, on to others.
Developing a gender perspective
“ ” “
Woman from Cae Mawr (FOJ) group, Llandudno
It is essential that the big spending priorities have women involved.15
1. Introduce gender guidelines and requirements in government and UK funding agencies. 2. Make gender central to all stages of the regeneration process. 3. Analyse programmes by gender, acknowledging that women and men have different needs. 4. Provide training, toolkits and checklists to enable practitioners to do this. 5. Ensure that each project has a ‘gender champion’– a key decision-maker who can make things happen and be held accountable. 6. Involve decision-makers at all levels in genderawareness training. 7. Set targets for positive action; whether this is improving employment prospects for women, ensuring that the same percentage of boys and girls pass their exams, or making buses more user friendly for the elderly, those with restricted mobility and those travelling with children.
Janet Dean, Director of Environment and Leisure, Doncaster MBC
Through our workshops with ReGender we now know our voices can be listened to... We have gained confidence and we are getting to know people who make decisions in our local community. We are gaining respect for our efforts.
s Boys are losing out in education: 57% of girls but only 46% of boys gained five or more A*- C grades at GCSE or grades 1/3 SCE Standard NQ.16 s Men are the victims of 57% of muggings and 82% of stranger assaults. 81% of victims of domestic violence are women.17
s In one survey, 9.6% of women and 15.0% of men said they had ‘no daily contact with family and friends’. 11.1% of women and 16.5% of men said they felt ‘disengaged from all activities.’18
PHOTO: RACHEL MORTON/OXFAM
v Mural from Gellideg estate,
Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
8. Break down information, statistics, targets and monitoring by gender. Analyse and use this information. 9. Commission more research on gender and regeneration. 10. Use a gender analysis in evaluations of regeneration schemes. 11. Collect and disseminate examples of good practice.
12. Involve organisations focused on gender and ethnic minority concerns in strategy, delivery and monitoring of regeneration projects. 13. Encourage and fund networks around gender, social inclusion and regeneration. 14. Ensure that women and men are equally represented on decision-making bodies, which should also contain members with disabilities and from black and ethnic minority groups. There need to be more women at national level and more men at community level. 15. Recognise that meeting such targets will require a willingness to change, and to share power more equally.
Training women to go to regeneration meetings and panels would help to get women more involved and benefit from the New Deal for Communities.
Woman from ReGender project in Manchester
w ‘Who am I’ exercise with sticky notes. Cae Mawr (FOJ) group, Llandudno, Wales.
s In Scotland, a survey found that households with a male head of household are more likely to be buying their homes with a mortgage or a loan, while female-headed households are more likely to be renting from a social landlord and also more likely to be dependent on state benefits.20
We are involved with politics with a little ‘p’ on the ground, but we get no recognition for it from the politicians who are involved in politics with a big ‘P’.19
s Women travel about less than men and use public transport more.21 s In construction and plumbing, only 1% of apprentices are women, 99% are men; in engineering, 6% are women, 94% are men. Those sectors with the lowest numbers of women are also those suffering the worst skills shortages.
PHOTO: RACHEL MORTON/OXFAM
v Mosaic created as part of
regeneration scheme on Gellideg estate, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
Oxfam and ReGender
Oxfam UK Poverty Programme’s ReGender project supports and encourages the equal participation of women and men in regeneration schemes in the UK by: q Working with grassroots women to hold local regeneration bodies to account and ensure that gender needs are being met. q Influencing key regeneration decisionmakers at national, regional and local government level to commit resources to meeting the different needs of the poorest men and women. q Influencing government to include women at senior levels and men at community levels of regeneration programmes. For more information contact: ReGender Oxfam UK Poverty Programme 274 Banbury Road Oxford, OX2 7DZ Tel: +44 (0) 1865 313184 Email: email@example.com
Rich Mix – inclusive strategies for urban regeneration, Sue Brownill and Jane Darke, Policy Press Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1998. From Re-moving the goalposts: perspectives on women and regeneration, Sarah Clement, WDS, 2002 www.wds.org.uk Engendering the work of SIPs in Glasgow – gender impact assessment and its application to social inclusion in Scotland, report to the Glasgow Women and Social Inclusion Working Group, Rona Fitzgerald, January 2002 Celebrating women’s contribution to social and economic development in South Yorkshire, The Source, Meadowhall, April 2003. Social Town Planning, Clara Greed, Routledge, 1999. http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/sed/witbe/ The Press Association, Wednesday September 17 2003. Poverty and Social Inclusion Survey, Gordon et al, 2000 as 8 as 4
Young, urban and female: young women and city regeneration Rachel Alsop, Suzanne Clisby and Gary Craig, YWCA, 2001 Public Management journal – Black Women Into Leadership? Issues of Gender Blind Race Equality Post Macpherson, Heidi Safia Mirza www.sourceuk.net/articles/f00353.html Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (ONS 2000) Gender and poverty in Britain, Jonathan Bradshaw, Naomi Finch, Peter A Kemp, Emese Matthew and Julie Williams, Social Policy Research Unit, University of York, Equal Opportunities Commission, Spring 2003. as 4 Regional trends 37, Office for National Statistics. British Crime Survey, 2001/2 as 8 as 11 Scottish Household Survey, Bulletin no 5 www.dft.gov.uk
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ReGender is funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust and Oxfam
Oxfam GB is a member of Oxfam International. Registered charity no. 202918. 2075