Gendering and Spatializing the New Urban Space: A Study on Working Women in the City of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Authors

  • Wasifa Tasnim Shamma Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/ssr.v37i2.56508

Keywords:

new urban space, spatial practices, gender, new private service sector

Abstract

This paper will explain the gendering and spatializing of Dhaka city that unearths the interaction between the new urban public space and women’s spatial practices. These women are working in different shopping malls, fashion houses and beauty parlours of the city which was impossible for them few decades ago. This study has replicated the theoretical position of Lefebvre (1991) on production of space and Harvey (1989) on spatial practices. Tonkiss’s (2005) ‘Geography of gender’ has been used to describe the gendering and spatializing the new urban space of Dhaka. In short, the study has collected data using survey method and supplemented the quantitative findings with qualitative data by some unique and informative case studies. It reveals that the new urban space of Dhaka has been produced by increasing consumerism and the rise of private service sectors where huge numbers of women are working nowadays. It further exposes that the empowerment of women and simultaneously the unemployment of men is contributing to unleashing traditional patriarchy from being confined to domestic spheres. Men are now harassing women in public place more than ever before to hold up their masculinity symbolically. Consequently, women’s free movement in the public space is being restricted by their perception and experience of harassment by certain male population of the city and by women’s protective negotiation of the space. The paper thus argues that harassment against women in the public space in Dhaka has recently been connected to increasing participation of women in private service sectors during the recent neoliberal transformations.

Social Science Review, Vol. 37(2), Dec 2020 Page 125-144

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Published

2021-11-20

How to Cite

Shamma, W. T. . (2021). Gendering and Spatializing the New Urban Space: A Study on Working Women in the City of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Social Science Review, 37(2), 125–144. https://doi.org/10.3329/ssr.v37i2.56508

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Articles