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Gender Policy
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Gender Policy Unit

Partners: 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 and communities.

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 in 1995.

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 Service (HRMS).


The Coordinator
Gender Policy Unit, Urban Secretariat
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (254 2) 7623987
Fax: (254 2) 7624250
E-mail: gender@unhabitat.org
URL: www.unhabitat.org/genderpolicy