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A feminist engagement with SDGs 5 and 11 in Georgetown, Guyana.

Authors: Linda Peake*, York University, Karen de Souza, Red Thread, Guyana
Topics: Urban Geography, Gender, Development
Keywords: Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 11, Georgetown, Guyana, feminist urban research
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The post-MDG era has a new global partnership based, since 2015, on the SDGs, including stand-alone goals on gender equality (SDG 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’) and, for the first time ever, a global goal in relation to cities (SDG 11: ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’), the synergy of which addresses the lives of urban women. With poverty alleviation and gender equality underlying all 17 SDGs, this paper addresses the extent to which SDG 5 and SDG 11 have been applied over the last five years in Georgetown, Guyana. Based on research conducted with the Guyanese women’s organization, Red Thread, as part of the GenUrb feminist comparative urban research project, analysis is presented based on interviews with a number of policy shapers and women living in the low-income neighbourhood of Sophia. The analysis draws attention, for example, not only to the lack of data, issues with indicators and monitoring measures but also the inability of the goals to generate change and engagement in a country in which a lack of entitlement has characterized urban development since the implementation of structural adjustment programs in the 1980s. While the conceptual framing of SDG 11 recognizes that urbanization must be addressed, the question of how to lift women out of urban poverty is based on inadequate policy and methodological frameworks. The paper concludes that for transformative urban change, local and national governments need to engage with women’s organizations for policy formation and implementation.

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