WHEN was developed in response to a lack of academic and policy attention on the gender dimensions of homelessness. Research has highlighted issues such as the disproportionate rates at which lone women parents experience homelessness and the clear associations between gender-based or domestic violence and women’s homelessness. However, the evidence base on these areas is inconsistent, incomplete and sometimes outdated and there is also a distinct lack of international comparative analysis on gender within homelessness.
WHEN also seeks to highlight and address gaps in current thinking and research. Key concerns include insufficient understanding of women’s experiences of chronic homelessness and women’s experience of homelessness through the life-course ranging from youth homelessness to homelessness in later life. The wider associations between gender, poverty and housing exclusion are also within WHEN’s sphere of interest.
The core objectives of the network are:
- To enhance the understanding of issues at the core of women’s homelessness.
- To foster international collaborative research on gender dimensions of homelessness.
- To promote and develop academic scholarship and to generate practical and policy relevant research.
- To facilitate dissemination of research, analysis and debate on women and homelessness.
One important immediate goal of the network is to work towards the publication of a collaborative co-authored volume on the state of knowledge on women’s homelessness in Europe. This edited collection of papers will help to inform a research programme which will be developed by the network in the future.
In the medium term, the network plans to organise an international conference which will aim to promote comparative perspectives on women’s homelessness.