Socio-spatial (re)construction of open spaces of universities as gendered places in South-West Nigeria

Joseph Adeniran Adedeji

Abstract


This article draws upon a wider empirical study that situates gender visibility (GV) in public places within the context of socio-spatial qualities (SSQ) of open spaces of the six Federal Universities in Southwest Nigeria by relying on the theorization of genius loci and humanization of spaces. Since the literatures provide scanty empirical information on these geographies, the question is, to what extent do SSQ affect the politics of GV and how can a conceptual framework that is contingent on these qualities be developed? Accordingly, in a crosssectional survey through stratified random sampling protocols, 3,016 users participated in the study with questionnaire instrument. Correlation results suggest that GV is dependent upon social factors including conviviality, visual and audio privacies, security from criminal victimization and fear of it, and social interaction while it is not reliant on safety and meditation spaces. Further results indicate that GV is impacted by spatiality including accessibility, connectedness and convenience. Proximity, walk-ability, and continuity have no effect on GV. Significant socio-spatial variables have their distributions to be different across the genders. Based on these findings, a socio-spatial conceptual framework of GV in campus open spaces was developed. In recommending the framework for best practices, it is argued that open spaces of universities are (re)constructed as gendered places.

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