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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


UNCHS (Habitat), based in Nairobi, Kenya, is the secretariat for the Strategy, and is serving as lead agency for the Strategy within the United Nations system and other concerned organizations. However, the onus for elaborating and implementing national strategies within the broad framework of the Global Strategy for Shelter lies squarely on national governments.

For the first time in history, the Forward-looking Strategies, adopted at the 1985 World Conference to Review and Appraise the United Nations Decade for Women, made specific calls to governments to integrate women’s concerns in the formulation of policies and programmes for the provision of basic shelter and infrastructure. Since then, UNCHS (Habitat) has actively promoted women as agents of change and beneficiaries in the area of human settlements. The process initiated by UNCHS (Habitat) is directed at:

(a) Involving women at all levels of formulation and implementation of human settlements policies and programmes;

(b) Improving women’s access to credit for both property ownership and business development;

(c) Protecting and improving women’s shelter tenure;

(d) Opening up employment opportunities for women at all levels of the human settlements sector;

(e) Improving the residential environment of women, especially low-income women, their families and their communities.

Many gains have been made in improving the status of women - albeit unevenly distributed between developing and industrialized countries and among sectors of the economy. There has been a greatly increased visibility of women’s issues throughout the world, an increase and growth in global women’s networks and expanded knowledge on the status of women in world development through expansion in research, writing and scholarship.

What has emerged is the appreciation that women are key to national development, which in itself cannot be considered complete without the direct participation of woman at all levels. That realization, little acknowledged before, is now crucial to national planning.