Gender-Biased Street Naming in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa: Influential Factors, Features and Future Recommendations

Citation:

Zuvalinyenga, Dorcas, and Liora Bigon. 2020. "Gender-Biased Street Naming in Urban Sub-Saharan Africa: Influential Factors, Features and Future Recommendations." Journal of Asian and African Studies. doi:10.1177/0021909620934825.

Authors: Dorcas Zuvalinyenga, Liora Bigon

Abstract:

This article explores the present-day problematic of gender-biased street names as prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa’s cityscapes. That is, the abundance of masculine street names as opposed to feminine ones in the urban environments of this region. The article first provides a comparative view on the scope of this toponymic phenomenon in other geographic regions with relation to sub-Saharan Africa. It also identifies few decisive factors in the creation of the gender-biased urban landscapes in sub-Saharan Africa. These factors consist of: recent tendencies in critical toponymy studies; colonial and post-colonial cultures of governmentality; and inadequate urban planning legislation and vision as pertained by post-colonial states. This toponymic problematic is then exemplified in a site-specific analysis of the city of Bindura in north-eastern Zimbabwe. The article concludes with recommendations for designing a more socially inclusive urban management policy in the region, pointing to future research directions of this under-studied phenomenon in critical place-name studies.

Keywords: gender-biased street names, Sub-Saharan Africa, Bindura/Zimbabwe, urban planning, urban management, Critical toponymy studies

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Governance, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zimbabwe

Year: 2020

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