The activities of the Women and Habitat Programme are mandated by various UN General Assembly resolutions as well as women's organizations, CBOs and NGOs, especially those from the South, who are actively involved in the struggle for a better living and working environment for all people.
The programme is being implemented mainly through funding from bilateral donors, notably of Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The Programme is active in the following countries: Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania, Ghana, Zambia, Senegal, Burundi, Rwanda, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador. It has numerous activities in the fields of networking, capacity building and research for which several outputs are published.
Activities in the field of capacity building include the training of men and women in UNCHS (Habitat), local and national governments, as well as CBOs and NGOs, in gender-aware approaches to human settlements development. Activities also include the training of women in the human settlements field in managerial and advocacy skills. Research activities include production of a manual on the base-line survey for measuring women's participation within their human settlements and the methodology for arriving at the key indicators. Other publications include the following: The Gendered City, a discussion paper for Habitat II; Women-Heading Households - Case-Studies; Training Manual on Gender-awareness in Human Settlements Development; Getting the Issues Right (on Women in Human Settlements development) - including an edition for young people; and Women in Construction: Evaluative Case studies.
The Women and Habitat Programme was the UNCHS focal point for the Beijing preparatory process. A major focus of this involvement was aimed at putting a human settlements agenda in the meetings and documents. Equally within the process leading up to the Habitat II Conference (Istanbul, June 1996) the programme stressed integration of a gender perspective in all documents and processes. The result was a gender-aware Habitat Agenda and the recognition of the principle of gender equality.
Finally, networking is an important activity of the Programme, which includes supporting the Huairou Commission and HIC Women and Shelter Network, participating in the inter-agency meetings on WID/GAD issues, and dialogue with research institutions, environmental and peoples organizations, housing federations and development agencies in order to assure the continued relevance of the work programme.
The WHP has moved from a focus on direct implementation, which targets the beneficiaries (men and women in a direct manner), to one which emphasizes a catalytic and policy formulating role where the focus is on strengthening the gender competence of the executing agency (field and headquarter staff of UNCHS). This in turn improves the delivery of programmes, projects and activities to the benefit of the specific communities or institutions being targeted.
For further information and inquiries, please contact Catalina Trujillo (Catalina.Trujillo@unchs.org)
[ Training and Capacity Building Section]