Working Paper
Gender Aspects of Urban Economic Growth and Development

The urbanization process is frequently shaped by prevailing constructions of gender. The recognition of this phenomenon is vital both in diagnosis and policy terms. This paper aims at illustrating the importance of gender in three major related aspects of urban growth and development: (i) transformations in household structure; (ii) shifts in household survival strategies and; (iii) changing patterns of employment. The paper concludes that although urbanization is gendered in all parts of the developing world, variability in patterns and outcomes in different countries makes it difficult to identify particular ways in which policy interventions might diminish gender inequalities in urban environments. Besides this, the paper concludes that unless gender inequalities are attenuated in rural settings there is little scope to effect major improvements in existing disparities. Although the 1980s and 1990s have seen an increasing acknowledgement of women's contribution to development, so far, policies which incorporate women into the development process have shown little concern about empowering women themselves.