In order to focus on the issue of gender and shelter it must be recognized that no one, man or woman, exists independently of the local context. Everyone lives in a complex web of relationships in a particular society, and individual experience is determined by the nature and form of those relationships. In order to understand what lies behind the shelter that low-income households develop, manage and occupy, it is necessary to explore the complexities of their social, economic and political relationships in a wider context. The extensive coverage of the survey questionnaire and the range of topics covered in the case studies reflect this premise. They provide a basis for the development of recommendations that are designed to impact upon shelter but that, sometimes, require the involvement of actors not normally associated with the shelter sector.