Shelter, Protection and Gender

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Mar 24 2021

Shelter, Protection and Gender

6 Stories of Female Architects Designing for Women and Children

As long as the architectural profession stays largely impregnated by gender disparity and that humanitarian architecture is only a small part of the mainstream career path, we should pursue every effort to showcase what can shift this reality. As new challenges arise, with mass displacements, pandemic, and climate change, so do opportunities to gear efforts to improve the shelter.

For most vulnerable groups, safe spaces for victims of violence places designed to make both women empowered and children thrive.

The stories of these architects and their work to improve the quality of life and wellbeing of a woman are outstanding, and they are also part of a growing network of shelter women to exchange and inspire each other to make the sector change.



Part 1: Working with shelter and safe woman spaces

Professor of Practice in Humanitarian Architecture and Vice Dean at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
Hollmén Reuter Sandman Architects’ focus is on both environmental and aesthetic sustainability. Environmental sustainability is achieved by using local materials, many projects focus on woman and safe spaces. Kilimanjaro Women Information (KWIECO) provides advice on legal, health, social, and economic issues to women. The architecture of the Shelter House respects local culture and spatial hierarchy.

Regional Shelter and Infrastructure Coordinator
Examples of working on shelter for refugees and displaced populations in East Africa, involving woman in managing construction. Danish refugee council (DRC) specialized in working on emergency shelter projects in East Africa and as engaged on woman empowerment initiatives.

Shelter Lead at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC)
Shelter protection and woman on the move (HLP-migration), and work done to secure land and legal protection for more gender equality in large scale community-driven projects (Sri Lanka).

Part 2: Social inclusion space and co-designing children spaces

Architect and Researcher at CatalyticAction
Architect with Catalytic Action, specialised in designing child-friendly space in Lebanon. Focus on Co-design principles, youth empowerment. Great examples of young generation engaged in social inclusion by design and humanitarian engagement. Focus: Middle East

Architect and International Development Practitioner
Shelter advisor with Save the Children, designed the Floating schools in Cmbodia addressing education continuity in times of climate change. Focus: East Asia

Design and Material Technology Coordinator at Save the Children, Rohingya Response
Cox Bazar bamboo school and work on one of the most difficult camps in Bangladesh.