Gender discrimination in housing?

The anarchist leader for renters’ rights, Georges Cochon (1879-1959)—to the left of the rostrum, with a hat and a mustache—explains the reasons for his movement to the press in 1912. While the only one to speak, he is surrounded by numerous women (postcard, personal collection).


Despite greater legal and political equality between men and women, gender discrimination in housing continues today. Even though the majority of homeless people are still men, women continue to face more difficulty than men in occupying healthy and comfortable housing. This discrimination is primarily based on inequality in matters of salary and employment opportunity, notably full-time employment. It also stems from enduring traditions and long-standing legal distinctions in which representations of femininity and masculinity have had an impact on housing availability and conditions for women and men. For example, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, inhabitants were rarely thought of as being women, as though only men, whether single or as the head of a family, could purchase or rent their housing. Despite what one may think, these representations have not disappeared from public housing policies or among private landlords.