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Environment, Space, Place

Volume 6, Issue 2, Fall 2014

Kishwar Habib, Hilde Heynen, Bruno De Meulder
Pages 69-98

(Un)Covering the Face of Dhaka: Gender Politics and Public Space in the Post-Colonial City

Socio-spatial conditions for women in Dhaka are very specific and highly contradictory. This article traces some of these contradictions by looking at the multilayered presence of women in public space—where public space is defined as both the space of politics and public discourse, and the physical space of streets, parks and squares. By analyzing the presence of women in public space, it is argued that one can observe a continuous tension within these spaces between ‘official’ discourses and often repeated ideas that stress equal rights for women on the one hand and a whole series of everyday practices on the other that rather tend to make women’s presence in public space marginal.

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