This panel reflects on gender and cities in South Asia, with a view to examining how women experience cities differently from men, how cities (in)visibilise certain genders and gendered practices, and how marginalisation and resistance are far from gender neutral in city spaces.
Scholarly reflection on cities and gender, as co-constitutive subjects, has been long overdue. While efforts at systematically examining how women experience cities differently from men, how cities (in)visibilise certain genders and gendered practices, how gender norms influence male and female bodies' negotiation of physical/ social/ political spaces or how marginalisation and resistance are far from gender neutral in different cities in the world are beginning to appear, not many adequately capture South Asian realities. Given that South Asia is in the midst of a rapid transition from a predominantly rural to an urban society, examination of such questions is crucial to imagining a more inclusive and sustainable future for the region. This panel invites papers that offer ways of seeing gender in the city by exploring themes such as gender and urban governance, laboring women, migration and citizenship, alternative sexual identities and the law, gendered politics of peri-urban spaces, women's mobility and safety, preservation of class privilege, environment and monuments, and women's activism, masculinities, and gender-based violence in especially, though not exclusively, metropolitan cities in the region. Papers that go beyond picture postcard images, news headlines and rhetoric of worldclassness as also conventional binaries of urban/ rural, public/ private in understanding gender and city spaces are welcome.