Domestic Space As a Survival Strategy for Low-income Women

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Assumpta Nnaggenda Musana


Low-income government provided housing has been continually transformed by its beneficiaries, especially women. The transformations are a major sign that there is discontentment about the houses since low-income households are excluded from the design process of these houses. By transforming the houses, the low-income households are trying to fit their houses or environments to their ways of living. This paper intends to review the housing transformations at the Masese Women’s Self-Help Housing Project at Masese, Jinja, in Uganda to understand how women practice space. Studying the spatial alterations can help guide architects towards finding inclusive housing design approaches that can benefit the low-income households and prevent governments and donors from spending finances on futile housing prototypes that get eventually abandoned. The paper adopts a qualitative methodology comprising of precedent studies at Masese, and a literature review to analyse the various housing transformations in an attempt to address the problem of inadequate housing for low-income households.


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