Talks and Poster Presentations (without Proceedings-Entry):

P. Hirschler, G. Witthöft:
"Gender Studies in Spatial Planning";
Talk: 8th European Conference on Gender Equlity and Higher Education, Wien (invited); 09-03-2014 - 09-05-2014.

English abstract:
Basically gender issues in spatial planning and spatial development are manifold and should be taken into account in all actions. Of course some fields of interventions are easy to spot and very well analyzed like the labour market, education, mobility or settlements. But also in the case of environment, water and waste management inequalities can occur. There is no universal recipe for implementation, but countless guidelines and checklists have been developed over the years. Gender issues in planning intend to add a different perspective and special focus to the planning process. Gender planning asks:
* Who is concerned?
* What are the different needs of women and men?
* Which targets and measures ensure equal rights?
The integration of Austriaīs spatial policies into the European Unionīs Structural Funds policy supported an increasingly strong orientation towards cooperation and strategic concepts. The monitoring and evaluation of spatial policy interventions gained importance as well as the number of involved actors grew significantly. Women have always played an important role in development processes and planning. To maximize human resources in maintaining the social fabric of rural communities and revitalizing local economies, the full involvement of women is vital. In some regions of Europe, economic recession and cutbacks in public services have led to further rural decline, remoteness and poor infrastructure.
In general mega transport infrastructure projects should focus on gender issues in the following planning stages:
* Planning, process and design to include the needs of both sexes,
* Gender-specific data collection and analysis,
* Balanced share of both sexes in the participation process,
* Sensitization and awareness rising of stakeholders and decision makers.
Based on the assumptions from the first Paper of the complete Panel the authors will point out and discuss important aspects of planning discipline:
* Historical background and perspectives of womenīs liberation movement and its relation to planning theory, practice and education
* Impacts of gender inequalities in the West European and Austrian society as well as day-to-day gender-stereotype assumptions on planning theory, practice and education
* Representation of planning concerning gender aspects and dimensions
* Gender scripts within planning research and development processes
* Gender impacts of the Legal background Austrian and European level on planning theory, practice and education
Still to less consideration is given to the tiny changes which can hugely increase the contribution which gender issues in planning can make to regional competitiveness, growth and quality of life. Perhaps the idea of a gender-centred planning is scary, and challenges the accepted order where there are often a minority of women in positions of importance. But the point is that it is not just about tackling inequality in decision-making. What is important is an alternative way of thinking about what matters to society, and about the way people have to organise their lives to participate in the economy and their communities.

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