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Gender Inclusive Planning

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Dr Karen Horwood from Leeds Beckett University is Women in Planning's Lead for Women and Planning/ Gender Inclusive Plannign. Please email to get in contact

About Gender Mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is a public policy requirement adopted by EU member states through the Amsterdam Treaty 1997. This requires the promotion of equality between men and women, with gender mainstreaming embedding gender sensitivity into public policy. It seeks to modify mainstream practice, so that gender is considered throughout the decision-making process. The RTPI’s good practice note (2007) supports the gender duty, and the RTPI’s gender mainstreaming toolkit (2003) provides support for planners in its implementation.

Both women and planning, and gender mainstreaming remain relevant today. Women are undertaking research examining the extent to which women’s needs are included within planning and how we can do this better. Discussions are ongoing within the popular media highlighting these issues.

About Women and Planning

The planning profession has historically been dominated by men, resulting in less attention to the needs for women when planning our towns and cities. In the context of the women’s liberation movement in the 1970s/80s women started to challenge this, highlighting the ways in which patriarchy was written into the built environment and advocating for change. Notable examples include the work of the Women’s Design Service providing advice and advocacy for more inclusive planning, and the work of the GLC women’s committees in seeking to address inequalities.

Academics started to publish in this field, for example Clara Greed’s (1994) Women and Planning and Jo Little’s (1994) Gender, Planning and the Policy Process. This was reflected in practice with the RTPI Practice Advice Note 12 Planning for Women (1995) written by Dory Reeves and Christine Booth. A small but dedicated group of women have continued researching in the field till the present day. In 2019 Leeds Beckett University hosted the Women and Planning conference to bring together those working in this field. Leeds Beckett is also currently sponsoring PhD in this area of research.



  • Clara Greed (1994) Women and Planning: Creating Gendered Realities

  • Criado-Perez (2019) Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

  • Kern (2020), Feminist City: Claiming Space in a Man-Made World


Web resources:

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