In a step towards female empowerment, Mumbai has now become the first city in the country with an urban plan which has provisions for designated spaces for the needs of women. The city's urban plan has a gender-specific focus on reserving physical and social infrastructure for the ladies and it also provides approximately 90 land reservations to address women's needs including education, health, housing and safety. This game-changing plan has an entire chapter titled 'Gender, Special Groups and Social Equity', added by the BMC under the Revised Draft Development Plan 2034.
'Gender blindness to gender mainstreaming'
As per reports, the newly designed plan covers 24 municipal wards in the city and the planned developments include the construction of a child-care centre in Goregaon and a skills development facility in Sion-Koliwada, which is almost on the brink of completion. Two homes for the elderly in Bhandup and Goregaon and rental housing for women in Antop Hill, Bhandup and Goregaon, are among the various project designs which have been finalized and are awaiting bids.
'Gender, Special Groups and Social Equity', added to the city's RDDP 2034, talks about a "departure from gender blindness to gender mainstreaming", after women from various sectors came together to challenge the lack of a gender perspective in urban planning which was previously approved by the state government back in 2018.
This venture will now push Mumbai into becoming a prominent women-friendly city and the priority of course lies on the safety of the women- be it a resident or a traveller. Marginalised women too, will probably find solace in this scheme and the overall landscape of women, is in for a much-needed change.