Thinking global, living local: Voices in a globalized world

Poor Women in Cities: Challenges and Innovations

Written by on . Published in Poor Women in Cities

Woman in Dharavi, Mumbai, India. Picture published by Thomas Galvez on Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Woman in Dharavi, Mumbai, India. Picture published by Thomas Galvez on Flickr under a CC BY 2.0 license.

The urban environment presents unique challenges as well as opportunities for its residents. Cities often have diverse populations with varying income levels and backgrounds, yet these individuals must coexist in a finite space, often with differential access to everything from cultural goods to public transportation and basic sustenance. We want to explore this experience from the perspective of  poor women living in the city.

What specific challenges do women face in their day-to-day lives? Which of these challenges are regionally unique?  Which ones do you believe are universal, cutting across geographic boundaries and affecting poor urban women everywhere similarly? To what extent are these difficulties similar to, or different from those faced by city-dwelling men living in poverty?

Do cities also present unique opportunities to poor women? What education, career and family opportunities are  available specifically in urban environments? How do these differ from the norms enjoyed by middle and upper class urban women? Are steps being taken to equalize the playing field across income levels (for example, private or government-sponsored social initiatives targeting women)?

Future Challenges authors are in 65 countries in the developed and the developing world. Take your pick from the Local Views below, and explore the ways in which writers from around the world think about this critical issue.

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Anneliese Guess Twitter: DCAnneliese

Anneliese Guess is a Project Manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Washington, DC office. She joined the Bertelsmann Foundation shortly after completing a Master’s Degree in German and European Studies at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Anneliese's research interests include immigration, integration, demographic change, and identity.

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