Marie-Ève Desroches: Housing as a key to women’s right to the city
Introduced in 1968 by Henri Lefebvre, the concept of right to the city implies that any individual living in the city should be able to exercise her rights to socio-political participation and to the appropriation of urban resources and opportunities. Access to housing is an important prerequisite for the exercise of this collective right, as Marie-Ève Desroches, 2016 scholar of the Foundation, points out in an article (in French only) published in the Métropoles journal.
While various authors and social movements have emphasized capitalism as the main structural obstacle to the right to the city, Marie-Ève Desroches argues that we must take into consideration other types of oppression to lead truly inclusive struggles for this right. Her case study of feminist urban mobilizations in a Montreal neighborhood shows that patriarchy also creates, in interaction with capitalist structures, structural impediments to the right to housing and thus to the residents' right to the city. She concludes, therefore, that the concept of right to the city should integrate several approaches to justice to allow claims and practices of feminist struggles.