Feminism and GIS

Feminism and GIS refers to the use of geographic information system (GIS) for feminist research and also how women influence GIS at technological stages.[1] Feminist GIS research is aware of power differences in social and economic realms.[2]


Feminist GIS is considered part of a larger discourse on Feminist Geography, critical cartography, and critical GIS, arenas of study that has been ongoing since the 1990s and before that critiques the acceptance of GIS as a practice for producing neutral and objective representations of space.[3][4] Feminist GIS scholars are especially concerned with "whether GIS methods are inherently incompatible with feminist epistemologies through interrogating their connection with positivist scientific practices and visualization technologies."[3] Feminist geographers, in general, "recognize the partiality and situatedness of all knowledge and the importance of critical reflections on one's subject position relative to research participants, the research process, and the knowledge produced (reflexivity)."[3]

In practice, researchers have found that Volunteered geographic information research can be influenced by feminism and GIS, along with critical and participatory GIS, to produce socially inclusive development and research.[5]


  1. Schuurman, Nadine (2008). GIS: A Short Introduction. United States, UK, Australia: Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0631235337.
  2. Pavlovskaya, Marianna; St. Martin, Kevin (2007). "Feminism and Geographic Information Systems: From a Missing Object to a Mapping Subject". Geography Compass. 1 (3): 583–606. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8198.2007.00028.x. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Kwan, Mei-Po (2002-01-01). "Feminist Visualization: Re-Envisioning GIS as a Method in Feminist Geographic Research". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 92 (4): 645–661. doi:10.1111/1467-8306.00309. JSTOR 1515293.
  4. Pavlovskaya, M. (2009-01-01). Feminism, Maps and GIS A2 - Thrift, Rob KitchinNigel. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 37–43. ISBN 9780080449104.
  5. Elwood, Sara (2008). "Volunteered geographic information: future research directions motivated by critical, participatory, and feminist GIS" (PDF). GeoJournal. 72: 173–183. doi:10.1007/s10708-008-9186-0. Retrieved March 5, 2016.

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