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Mainstreaming Gender Issues in UN HABITAT Policies and Programs. Alice Storch. UN HABITAT: Mandate.

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un habitat mandate
UN HABITAT: Mandate
  • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
un habitat mandate3
UN HABITAT: Mandate
  • Budget (2003-04): $300 million
  • Four main budgetary sources:
    • Multilaterals and bilaterals for technical assistance (80%)
    • Governments and other partners, including local authorities and foundations (5%)
    • UN budget (5%)
    • Voluntary contributions from governments (5%)
un habitat its challenge
UN HABITAT: Its Challenge
  • Why focus on cities?
    • Cities are now home to half of humankind.
    • While cities are centers of national production and consumption, they are also hubs of disease, crime, pollution, and poverty.
    • Slum growth is a particularly aggravated aspect of urban conditions: 1 billion people currently live in slums globally, and if current trends continue, 3 billion will live in slums by 2050.
un habitat strategic vision
UN HABITAT: Strategic Vision
  • Urban poverty reduction strategies involve focusing on:
    • Sustainable urban development;
    • Adequate shelter for all;
    • Improvement in the lives of slum dwellers;
    • Access to safe water and sanitation;
    • Social inclusion;
    • Environmental protection;
    • Human rights.
un habitat strategic vision6
UN HABITAT: Strategic Vision

To sharpen its focus on these main lines of strategy, UN HABITAT has zeroed in more specifically on:

  • Knowledge management and reporting;
  • Advocacy of norms for sustainable urbanization and urban poverty reduction;
  • Technical cooperation;
  • Innovative financing for urbanization and shelter needs;
  • Strategic partnerships.
un habitat activities
UN HABITAT: Activities
  • Two major worldwide campaigns:
    • Global Campaign on Urban Governance
    • Global Campaign for Secure Tenure
  • Technical programs and projects in 61 countries
  • Additional programs:
    • Cities Alliance, a joint UN HABITAT/World Bank slum upgrading initiative
    • Housing rights
    • Water and sanitation and solid waste management
un habitat activities cont d
UN HABITAT: Activities (cont’d.)
  • Capacity building for local leaders
  • Safer cities
  • Municipal and housing finance systems
  • Urban management
  • Urban transport
  • Research and monitoring of urban economic development
  • Global Urban Observatory
  • Gender policy
un habitat gender policy
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy
  • UN HABITAT’s Gender Policy is structured around three specific areas:
    • UN HABITAT’s Gender Policy and its overall Goal and Objectives
    • UN HABITAT’s gender mainstreaming approach
    • UN HABITAT’s roles and responsibilities among staff and management
un habitat gender policy10
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy
  • According to UN HABITAT’s main steering document, the Habitat Agenda, the overall goal of promoting gender equality should guide all of UN HABITAT’s interventions in the field as well as at the policy and decisionmaking levels.
un habitat gender policy11
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy
  • Guidelines for the objectives of gender equality have been outlined for UN HABITAT:
    • Adopt and develop a center-wide approach and methodology for gender mainstreaming
    • Identify entry points and opportunities within UN HABITAT’s work
    • Identify linkages between gender equality and human settlements development
    • Develop institutional capacity and knowledge to enable gender mainstreaming within UN HABITAT
un habitat gender policy12
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy
  • UN HABITAT’s Gender Mainstreaming Approach for promoting and strengthening gender at the international level involves the following 10 principles:
    • Initial definitions of issues/problems across all areas of the human settlement field should be done in such a manner that gender differences and disparities will be visible and diagnosed.
    • Assumptions that human settlement development is neutral from a gender perspective should never be made.
un habitat gender policy13
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy

3.Gender analysis should always be carried out in both recommendations to policy and planning as well as in operational areas of work before implementation and decisions are made by HABITAT.

4. Systematic use of gender analysis, sex-disaggregated data and commisioning of sectoral gender studies and surveys are required for all areas of UN HABITAT’s activity.

5. Responsibility for implementing the mainstreaming strategy is system-wide, and rests at the highest level within the agency, and its departments;

un habitat gender policy14
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy

and adequate accountability means monitoring progress in UN HABITAT’s interventions need to be established within each area of work. The staff and management are also to be committed to promote and ensure a gender perspective in their collaboration with partners and other agencies.

6. Political will from the Senior Management by providing competent leadership and enabling allocation of adequate resources for gender mainstreaming.

7. Gender mainstreaming requires that efforts be made to broaden women’s equitable participation at all levels of decision-making within the human

un habitat gender policy15
UN HABITAT: Gender Policy

settlement field.

8. Mainstreaming does not replace the need for targeted, women-specific policies and programs and positive legislation.

9. A specific gender mainstreaming strategy for UN HABITAT should be formulated, and its interventions

established within every branch and unit within the program.

10. Provision of training to all personnel at UN HABITAT headquarters and in the field regarding gender mainstreaming and awareness for staff and management.

un habitat applications of gender policy
UN HABITAT: Applications of Gender Policy
  • Best Practice Database on Women Empowerment Practice in human settlements
    • Water Provision in Malawi
    • Frauen-Werk Stadt – A Housing Project by and for Women in Vienna, Austria
  • Urban Indicators Program