UN Office of the Special Adviser on Gender and the Advancement
of Women (OSAGI), Division for the Advancement of Women, UN
Secretariat Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DAW-DESA),
UN Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality (IACWGE),
Huairou Commission (HC),
the umbrella body for international networks on women, homes
Objectives: The objective of the
Gender Policy Unit is to ensure UN-HABITAT's effective implementation
of its Gender Policy and
to address the Habitat Agenda commitment to gender equality.
UN-HABITAT’s Gender Policy has three overall objectives: (a)
To promote women’s equal rights and women’s empowerment internationally
within the area of human settlements development; (b) To support
governments, NGOs and other partners in capacity building
and development in order to mainstream gender equality in
human settlements development; (c) To mainstream a gender
perspective throughout the Programme’s activities.
Key clients and countries served: All member states of
the Human Settlements Commission, and the global women's networks
dealing with women, homes and communities, operating under
the umbrella of the Huairou Commission, created at Beijing
Working methods: The main method of outreach for the empowerment
of women in human settlements is through the global women's
networks that form part of the Huairou Commission. These networks
include the Habitat International Council Women and Shelter
Network (HICWAS), Grassroots Women Organising Together in
Sisterhood (GROOTS) and the International Council of Women
(ICW). These networks aim to advance the capacity of grassroots
women worldwide to strengthen and create sustainable communities.
The Gender Task Force, an internal body in UN-HABITAT, aims
to mainstream gender in all aspects of the Programme's work.
This body meets regularly to develop a consolidated gender
mainstreaming approach, methods, tools and instruments. It
also has members who are the gender focal points in the three
regional offices in Rio, Fukuoka and Nairobi.
Flagship products and activities: The women's networks
partners of UN-HABITAT are currently engaged in a wide range
of activities to bring the concerns of grassroots women into
public decision-making and policy at a variety of levels.
Activities currently include the Grassroots Women's International
Academy (GWIA) for peer-group learning among communities in
the North and South, the "local-local dialogues" to activate
grassroots women's participation in local authority decision-making.
The Gender Policy Unit works closely with the global campaigns
on Secure Tenure and Good Urban Governance. Extensive work
on women's property rights is underway. A draft policy paper
on Women and Urban Governance was prepared in 2000 and is
currently being reviewed by partners. The Gender Policy Unit
also develops training packages for awareness creation and
gender planning. So far, 170 UN staff members have attended
gender awareness courses and these have now been taken over
by the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON) Human Resources Management
Gender Policy Unit, Urban Secretariat
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254 2) 7623987
Fax: (254 2) 7624250