Nocturnal: Women nightshift workers

Cities and territories have been planned responding to a capitalist and patriarchal model, which has privilege the sphere of the productive paid work and an urban model that has segregated functions (work, care, shopping, education, …) creating a city model that does not respond to everyday life’s needs. In addition, this model has been created for the day life, to make cities work at certain times of the day, and only planning the nighttime in relation to leisure and consumption, mostly based on a androcentric, sexist and heterosexist vision, excluding a wide diversity of people. In consequence, urban environments do not respond to people’s everyday life who use the city at night, not because of leisure, but because of obligation. In other works, to night workers, especially women night workers, who face major issues of mobility, fear, sexual harassment and personal and family life conciliation.

A year ago, Col·lectiu Punt 6 in collaboration with Fundació Àmbit Prevenció, la Secretaria de la Dona de CC.OO., Ca la Dona, Irídiaand the Group of Night Workers of the Hospital of Bellvitge, initiated a feminist participatory action research, named “Women transgressing space and time: the everyday/everynight life of women nightshift workers”. The project is part of the PhD dissertation in urban planning of our colleague, Sara Ortiz Escalante, who is doing her thesis at the University of British Columbia, and has the support of the City of Barcelona.

The project aims to analyze and make visible that aspects of city planning and mobility systems that affect the everyday life of women nightshift workers. 24 women who work in different places of the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, in cleaning, health, elder care, social emergencies, safety and sexual work, have been co-researchers in the project.  During this year, we have developed workshops for data gathering and analysis, including workshops on the everyday life network, perceptive maps, body maps, or exploratory commuting routes. We are currently working on the analysis and the dissemination strategy of results, and for this, we are collectively making participatory videos with the support of the Cooperativa de Tècniques.

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The project makes visible the elements that affects women nightshift workers on a daily basis: the limiting schedules and nocturnal access to public transportation, fear and the perception of safety in public transportation and walking routes, the elements of public space that increase women’s fear, the impacts on the physical and emotional health and on the family and social relations, as well as the sexism and sexual harassment women face on a daily basis, both in the public space and in the work space.

We hope to be able to share with you soon the videos and the results of this collective work.

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