Right to the city of women who live in a squatter (gecekondu): Urbanity, participation, and experience

Abstract:

This ethnographic and practical research aims to identify right to the city of women who live in a squatter (gecekondu) settlement in İzmir, Turkey. A significant proportion of the first-generation women who were the founders of the neighborhood have limited urban experience although an average of thirty years has passed since their settlement. They have not yet come across the places considered to be the symbol of the city and have not yet been to many important locations, is considerable. In the first phase of the study, I conducted in-depth interviews with ten women on urban experiences in their own living spaces and observed their mobility in their everyday lives. At this stage, I identified urban spaces, which they feel uncomfortable due to their inaccessibility. In the second phase, we visited these spaces with the women and after spending some time there, I held the second round of interviews to determine women’s experiences of those places and asked to narrate this experience in their own words. The goal of this research is to identify and overcome the conditions that affect the access of squatter women to the city. Data obtained from the field study aims to contribute on a theoretical level to the debate on gender, mobility in the city and the right to the city, as well as develop practical advice to remove barriers to women’s mobility in the city.

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