Cover Image
close this bookFocus on Women (HABITAT, 1991, 28 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the document“Why focus on women?”
View the documentThe Global Strategy at a glance
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentOverview from the regions
View the documentWomen and housing policy
View the documentWomen and construction
View the documentWomen and land
View the documentWomen and housing finance
View the documentCommunity participation
View the documentCommunications
View the documentRecommendations
View the documentMain actors

Main actors

The Strategy for the Full Participation of Women identifies three main actors - national governments, local governments and community groups and NGOs, and UNCHS (Habitat) and the international community - and gives specific recommendations for each of them.

National governments should:

· Create a national commission with representation from government, NGOs and CBOs with equal participation of knowledgeable women and men;

· Ensure that the national shelter strategy is an integral part of the national economic development strategy;

· Give priority to upgrading projects which involve women in improving low-income settlements;

· Analyse - and change, if necessary - legislation in order to eliminate obstacles to women’s equal access to housing, land, infrastructure, training and finance;

· Give financial support to NGOs which can provide technical assistance to community groups.

Local governments, community groups and NGOs should:

· Incorporate women’s strategies on shelter at all levels of local government and the community;

· Take an active part in national shelter strategies both at planning and implementing levels;

· Include representatives of women’s organizations in all bodies responsible for shelter programmes;

· Develop vertical and horizontal communication channels, using existing women’s organizations as facilitators.

UNCHS (Habitat) and the international community should:

· Continue to provide Member States with substantial support in formulating and implementing shelter strategies;

· Ensure that gender issues are incorporated in an integrated manner across all sections of the Strategy from the very beginning;

· Appoint a woman at UNCHS (Habitat) to facilitate implementation of the Strategy for the Full Participation of Women who should have the same access to the Executive Director as the operating head of the Global Strategy;

· Assess and support alternative approaches as well as organizational alternatives for development of human settlements;

· Relate human settlements issues to other sectors of economy and human life;

· Establish a link between UNCHS (Habitat) and the Habitat International

· Coalition Woman and Shelter Group for outreach on human settlements issues at national, regional and international levels;

· Involve other networks in these issues, e.g. Women and Law, Women and Environment;

· Consult with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women and international NGOs.

All actors involved in promoting the Strategy should initially plan an institutional framework to carry out the Strategy by incorporating the following:

· The framework could be designed to facilitate the collection of success and failure stories on communications between various levels of governments, NGOs and CBOs, to highlight importance of women’s participation;

· The establishment of a mechanism for maintaining dialogue between authorities and women’s organizations in policy formulation, implementation, and monitoring.

Effort could be made to improve gender sensitivity within all sections of UNCHS (Habitat) secretariat and the Commission itself through:

· Training programmes in all departments;

· Placement of more women at decision-making levels,

All actors are urged to present women’s strategy to United Nations Development Programme Resident Representatives, and other United Nations agencies; and to

· Give priority in technical cooperation projects to the role of women and their participation in the conception, execution and maintenance of human settlements;

· Integrate women and the women’s Strategy into national workshops and sub-regional training seminars.

· Increase public awareness of the UNCHS (Habitat) concern with women and shelter issues by initiating mass media campaigns on women and shelter within the Global Strategy for Shelter.

P O Box 30030, Nairobi, KENYA. Telephone: 230800, 520600
Cable: UNHABITAT; FAX (254) 2 226479; Telex 22996 UNHAB KE