Mobility of Men and Women in Informal Settlement Related to Seeking Opportunities

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How do people navigate the places in which they live? Does gender influence mobility and in what way? How do men and women access opportunities within and outside the slum?

These are some of the questions we wanted to answer during participatory mapping to support Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Project (KISIP) in Soweto Kayole. During the exercise, some 97 participants (52 women and 45 men) responded to a series of questions designed to help understand gender-specific patterns of movements in and out of Soweto, as well as gender-specific perceptions of the safety of movements within the informal settlement.

Participants were asked to first identify locations of their households and locations of work. The aim of this exercise was to understand how much men versus women leave the settlement to seek opportunities outside.

We found that men travel outside the settlement for work more than twice as often as women, in fact, 40% of men indicated that they went to work outside the boundaries of the informal settlement compared with only 20% of women (see the infographic below).

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Men travel outside the settlement for work more than twice as often as women

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