|Women and Human Settlements in Conflict Zones (United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, 1996, 97 p.)|
by Martha DueLoza
For us, the women of the world, HABITAT represents the physical, social, economic, cultural and family milieu where our lives take place. This milieu is profoundly enriched by all the nurturing, caring and loving attributes which over generations have made human experience on Earth possible, even in the most precarious of conditions.
We, the women of the world, take care of and protect our habitat and that of our children. In doing so, we project into the future our attributes and hope.
We, the women of the world, know that when society is orderly, a fool alone cannot disturb it. We know that when society is chaotic, a sage alone cannot bring order. We, the women of the world, have enough experience with the incredible evil that violence, abuse, greed, envy and conflict project on our individual lives, on our community organizations, on our children, on our habitat. This negative impact represents the level of social dysfunction in which, unfortunately, our lives elapse.
It is due to this that the principal objective of the extraordinary series of United Nations world conferences which have taken place during this decade, particularly HABITAT II, is to raise global, national, local and individual awareness on issues affecting the living conditions and very survival of humankind on Earth.
Part of the value of these conferences for us, the women of the world, has been to firmly establish our concerns as an integral part of the international agenda and by doing so, making the womens agenda more clearly articulated. In this context, we highlight INSTRAWs commitment to better understand womens conditions in these dysfunctional habitats or conflict zones, in order to find ways and means to reverse not only their negative impact, but also to bring forward the opportunities for a better, more sustainable and harmonious life that we, the women of the world, have been dreaming of for so many centuries.