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Urban Pulse – Gendered urban toponyms in the global South: a time for de-colonization?


Year published: 2020
Categories: Articles

Author / Authors:

  • Bigon, L.
  • Zuvalinyenga, D.


Urban Geography, online, DOI:10.1080/02723638.2020.1825275


This short commentary scrutinizes the contemporary toponymic phenomenon of gendered street naming in the global South with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa’s cities. It reveals the problematic prevalence of masculine street names in comparison to feminine names in the region’s urban spatialities and provides a comparative glimpse into similar realities in the global North. The paper offers explanations for this phenomenon as a consequence of the (post-)colonial experiences of many Southern cities and reports on the socio-political implications of this problem. Our recommendation on a toponymic decolonization in terms of gender is part of a broader aspiration for more just and inclusionary urban management policies, better accommodated to the challenging realities of urban life in Southern cities.


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