Gender & Housing


Claire Hancock
Université Paris-Est Créteil – France

Saila-Maria Saaristo
Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa – Portugal

Chloé Salembier
Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve – Belgique

Lidewij Tummers
Tussen Ruimte; Saxony Anhalt University of Applied Science – Netherlands

Central theme

  • The Working Group research themes are:
  • gendered urban inequalities
  • housing and intersectionality: how social relations of sex, race, class, disability and sexual orientation influence housing needs and housing situations
    discrimination based on social profile in access to housing
  • gender and homelessness
  • gendered violence and housing: what kind of impacts do gendered forms of violence have on access to housing, housing needs, and homelessness?
  • public housing policies: what kind of specific attention do marginalised or vulnerable groups need when housing policies are being designed?
  • the impact of social relations on residential paths and residential mobility
  • housing innovation by marginalised or vulnerable groups (forced co-housing or participatory housing, self-management, occupation without permission)
  • political dimension of housing in gendered struggles
  • empowerment or resilience in contexts of homelessness or housing exclusion
  • gendered aspects of housing production and the architecture and urban planning professions
  • housing research using feminist methodologies and epistemologies
  • methodological and epistemological implications of gender studies for housing studies.

Working Group motivations
Over the last few decades in Europe, issues related to gender inequalities have been largely invisible in Housing Studies, and similarly, Gender Studies still fails to integrate housing-related issues (built environment, public housing policies, city production professions). ENHR’s interdisciplinary “Gender & Housing” WG aims to remedy these shortcomings by bringing together researchers involved in Housing Studies working with feminist methodologies and epistemologies, and/or who carry out empirical work on minority groups or communities (women, LGBTQIA+, migrants, etc.). In the 70s, the second feminist wave chanted the slogan “the private is political”. Demands concerning women’s mental burden, worklife balance, domestic violence and reproductive rights emerged throughout Europe and the USA. Anglo-Saxon feminist geographers are taking up these issues, producing research that combines gender and housing issues. Does space produce or reproduce gender inequalities? How are spaces occupied and appropriated by members of the same household? How do social roles impact on how spaces are used?
In recent years, the media’s focus on feminist housing issues such as mental workload, work-life balance, the feminisation of poverty and domestic violence, has led to a renewed interest in analysing housing from a feminist perspective. The confinement associated with covid-19 has confirmed this trend and the urgency of analysing domestic space from a feminist perspective. The Housing & Gender WG intends to reconnect with overarching ENHR issues such as spatial justice, equity, inclusivity and socio-cultural diversity.

Plan for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025
2023- 2024

  • Administrative steps to bring the “Gender & Housing” Working Group within ENHR.
  • 4 x 2 conferences to present the work of researchers involved in the WG.
  • Monthly meeting of members to create collaborative knowledge-sharing tools: bibliography, references, etc.
  • Working group to draft a review article on gender and housing in Europe.
  • In line with the ENHR program:
    • Spring: launch of the call for papers for the “Gender and Housing” session in Delft.
    • Summer: selection of abstracts and organization of workshops for the ENHR in Delft.
    • Summer: Proposal of a keynote speaker for ENHR Paris in 2025.
  • Debriefing on the symposium and program for 2024-2025.


  • Monthly meeting of Gender Housing working group members.
  • Organization of online conferences for working group members.
  • Working group to write a review on gender and housing in Europe, publication and editorial research.
  • Working group to write Europe-wide comparative papers on dedicated themes.
  • In line with the ENHR program:
    • Winter: launch of the call for papers for the “Gender and Housing” session in Paris.
    • Spring: selection of abstracts and organization of workshops for ENHR in Paris.

Policy implications