Zahra Eftekhari Rad

Research Group: Visual & Material Culture Research Centre
Award studied: PhD

Project title

Muslim Women Interactions with Public Urban Spaces


This research is concerned with culture, gender and space, and how their inter-relationship plays out in the particular context of place making. .It aims to bring original contribution to the complex and multi-dimensional question of what are the "lived experiences" of Muslim women in public spaces, with reference to selected spaces in London.

The Gender Equality Duty came into force in April 2007, and involves, inter alia, designated authorities in the UK to promote gender equality. Notwithstanding, personal experiences of women-mature & young - in public spaces has not been taken seriously. Women determine their livelihood, security and agency, through activities around their body, environment in general, and their communities.

This, thesis aims to investigate how Muslim women perceive themselves economically, politically and culturally within the security (anti-terrorism agenda)/insecurity (increased visibility causing victimization) debate, which currently frames Muslims in the UK. This research study, also, examines how Muslim women describe their specific public realm experiences and their support systems (including barriers, interactions and engagements) and their viewpoints about the concept and practice of place making, forming a sense of place and belonging.

The outcome of this research will, hopefully, contribute to a better understanding of the needs of excluded communities in the context of their access and interaction in urban public spaces. It is expected that a number of recommendations may result (ensue) from this research study, which could be structured as a set of guidelines to be used by policy makers, urban designers, Spatial planners, other professionals, community support originations, and Civil Society engaged in community cohesion and wellbeing. This thesis considers the simultaneity and mutual co-constitution of different categories of social differentiation, known as Intersectionality (Lutz et al, 2011). Qualitative methods of ethnography - Non-participative Observation, Focused Group discussion, and Interview- will be used to assess the interactions of Muslim Women with Public Urban Spaces.



Queen's University, Belfast, 2013
6th Annual Sibèal Conference: Intersecting Gender, 22-23 November 2013

Zahra Eftekhari Rad