The Gender Gap in Street Naming: an Overview of Data Visualisation Initiatives around the World

By Neotoponymy

In recent years, there have been numerous academic and/or activist initiatives to document and visualise the gender gap in street naming, (sometimes including the names of urban facilities beyond just odonyms).
These initiatives contribute to the development of a Worldwide Geoweb dedicated to the gender gap in public space

Pathways from Roma:

from quantitative to qualitative analysis facing the difficult issue of automatic extraction

The Italian feminist activist association Toponomastica femminile launched a pioneering communication campaign on FaceBook in 2012 based on statistics comparing male and female odonyms. Following this original and strong initiative, which was widely reported in the international media, counts and monitoring were launched across Europe and Canada and beyond. Monitoring carried out by associations and journalists and facilitated by access to digital address databases and open access mapping (private or collaborative).

In terms of mapping, a first international and comparative project led by a Mapbox engineer (Aruna Sankaranarayanan) was a reference a few years ago. It has been acclaimed by several articles namely (and here), namely one in Bloomberg.com

It seems to me that it was the first quanti/quali mapping that allows to visualise the differential in number of feminised streets but also in length of lanes or surface of squares. However, the automatic classification of names was apparently still approximate.

The same applies to a much more recent work on Liverpool done by Abdishakur :approximate categorisation (done with Genderize service that allows you code and genderise 1000 names per day freely) but an attempt at qualitative and typologic analysis.

The French website Matrimoine also appears to be in progress with an automatic extraction system which at this stage does not seem to provide a list of streets named after female figures throughout France, but which at this stage does not yet appear to be exhaustive or verified.

Based in Brussels, a very active and innovative  activist group (equalstreetnames) proposes to replicate in network and thanks to OpenStreetMap a twofold approach: cartographic inventory and inventory of feminine names to be promoted. So the network document several global cities mainly in Europe, but also in Cape Town, San Francisco and Manilla. The network is open to new contributions

EqualStreetNames project coordinated by Open Knowledge Belgium with the support of OpenStreetMap Belgium and Wikimedia Belgium. EqualStreetNames is made possible thanks to equal.brussels.

EqualStreetNames project coordinated by Open Knowledge Belgium with the support of OpenStreetMap Belgium and Wikimedia Belgium. EqualStreetNames is made possible thanks to equal.brussels.



The question of data control and manual rectification was addressed by a Data Analyst in Sibiu (Romania) who extracts from OSM with automatic gender analysis then add systematic manual control and rectification.

The new generation of qualitative data visualisation and monitoring

This leads to remarkable works.

The statistical translation is now systematicaly given by disregarding the large part (often a small half) of names that are not personal names. So we obtain an european average of more than 90% for male figures versus less than 10% for female figures. Not to be confused with stats on total street names. Confusion often arises on this point in political, journalistic or militant communication, even if the gap is always enormous, especially in the centre of large conurbations, sometimes less so in the suburbs or more new roads to be named, whereas in the centre there are secondary places without addresses or new facilities which could be newly named.

The « Paris Féminin » project carried out by Alcatela in partnership with @lamaisondfemmes, proposes an alternative archipelago visual based on all the objects named after women (12% of the total, men 66%): streets but also public facilities which are proportionally more numerous to be feminised. The result is very original even if the categorisation of monuments and facilities is questionable in their feminisation and grouping with metro stations and Parisian landmarks.

Projet “Paris Féminin“ (extrait) de Alcatela, 2021. Représente en archipel la totalité des objets géographiques (voies et équipements publics) dénommés d'après des personnalités ou références féminines.

Projet “Paris Féminin“ (extrait) de Alcatela, 2021. Représente en archipel et en lien avec des hauts-lieux, la totalité des objets géographiques (voies et équipements publics) dénommés d’après des personnalités ou références féminines.

Vienna has been mapped regarding its genderized toponomascape as part of a more general atlas. A classification of Streets include the lenght, so statistics give an accurate idea of the qualitative gap.

Vienna (Austria) Longueur cumulée des voies urbaines dénommées d'après des femmes, des hommes ou d'autres référents. Source: Gender Atlas Schule https://genderatlas.at/schule/articles/strassennamen.html

Vienna (Austria) Longueur cumulée des voies urbaines dénommées d’après des femmes, des hommes ou d’autres référents. Source: Gender Atlas Schule https://genderatlas.at/schule/articles/strassennamen.html

In Nantes, the “A côté” collective proposes, within the framework of the Social Atlas of the Nante’s metropolitan area, a remarkable set of qualitative analyses of the street names of the city from a gender point of view: not only the streets but also the female names are analysed by types.

Quelles sont les rues portant des noms de femmes à Nantes ? Sce: Collectif A côté, Atlas Social de la métropole Nantaise, 2022, https://asmn.univ-nantes.fr/index.php?id=803

Quelles sont les rues portant des noms de femmes à Nantes ? Sce: Collectif A côté, Atlas Social de la métropole Nantaise, 2022, https://asmn.univ-nantes.fr/index.php?id=803

Special mention should be made of the most impressive academic project carried out at national level for the whole of Spain, which offers quantitative and qualitative analyses and visualisations at different levels, from the nation to cities and districts. Here is the interactive website, and here is the related scientific article reporting on the process, methodology and main findings.
Gutiérrez-Mora D, Oto-Peralías D. “Gendered cities: Studying urban gender bias through street names”. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science. February 2022. doi:10.1177/23998083211068844

Gendered cities from STNAMES Lab (2022), a website dedicated to the Spanish gender gap in street naming.

Gendered cities from STNAMES Lab (2022), a website dedicated to the Spanish gender gap in street naming.

 

At European level, a collaborative project has been launch online in 2023, after a pilot project for Italy in 2021. Mapping Diversity is a project coordinated by OBC Transeuropa for the European Data Journalism Network, using OpenStreetMap database and map. It looks at the names of 145,933 streets across 30 major European cities, located in 17 different countries.

Screen Capture of the web site Mapping Diversity Sce: https://mappingdiversity.eu/

Screen Capture of the web site Mapping Diversity Sce: https://mappingdiversity.eu/

Finally, a collaborative map records and monitors all the places in the world named after Marielle Franco, the murdered Brazilian MP. In this way, the transnational movement supporting Marielle Franco’s political commitments against all forms of discrimination gives visibility to an ascending global political movement expressed through the multiplication of the Marielle Franco street sign targeted by the extreme right.


This inventory of online gender gap analyses and visualizations in the toponomascape of different cities or countries will be completed regularly. Please, indicate new resources in the mail.

 



Citer ce billet
neotopo (2023, 4 avril). The Gender Gap in Street Naming: an Overview of Data Visualisation Initiatives around the World. NEOTOPONYMIE/NEOTOPONYMY. Consulté le 20 juin 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/rrql

Vous aimerez aussi...

1 réponse

Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Ce site utilise Akismet pour réduire les indésirables. En savoir plus sur comment les données de vos commentaires sont utilisées.

Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search