Urban Pulse - Gendered urban toponyms in the global South: a time for de-colonization?

Liora Bigon, Dorcas Zuvalinyenga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This short commentary scrutinizes the contemporary toponymic phenomenon of gendered street naming in the global South with an emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa’s cities. It reveals the problematic prevalence of masculine street names in comparison to feminine names in the region’s urban spatialities and provides a comparative glimpse into similar realities in the global North. The paper offers explanations for this phenomenon as a consequence of the (post-)colonial experiences of many Southern cities and reports on the socio-political implications of this problem. Our recommendation on a toponymic de-colonization in terms of gender is part of a broader aspiration for more just and inclusionary urban management policies, better accommodated to the challenging realities of urban life in Southern cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-239
Number of pages14
JournalUrban Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • (post-)colonialism
  • Gendered street naming
  • global South/Africa
  • toponymic inscriptions
  • town and country planning
  • urban management


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