The objective of the programme is to reinforce gender as a cross-cutting issue in all UN-HABITAT activities. It strives for more equal rights, benefits, opportunities, quality of life, and participation in public life for both men and women in towns and cities.
The Gender Equality Programme contributes to the attainment of the Habitat Agenda and the Millennium Development Goals— particularly Goal 3 on promoting gender equality and empowering women, Goal 1 on poverty reduction and Goal 7 on environmental sustainability.
In UN-HABITAT's State of the World's Cities 2010/2011report,it is estimated that 828 million people live in slums. Improving gender equality is a top development priority that needs to be supported within institutions by good coordination, training and capacity building, technical advice and monitoring and evaluation.
The Gender Equality Programme unites all UN-HABITAT staff and partners to work strategically towards improving gender equality in human settlements and bringing about measurable results. The Gender Mainstreaming Unit is a central point of contact to facilitate these efforts.
The Gender Unit engages in much of the “behind the scenes” work to create the necessary conditions for large-scale improvements to slum dwellers, the urban poor and the most disadvantaged in towns and cities—all this by tackling gender inequalities in the course of regular development work in towns and cities.
The Gender Unit’s activities focus on gender mainstreaming, advocacy, training, capacity-building, technical advice, research and monitoring. Put more simply, they are about helping to ensure the systems, awareness, knowledge, skills, tools, resources and accountability mechanisms are in place to bring about real benefits to men and women, more equitably.
Activities include the following:
- Development and implementation of a Gender Equality Action Plan to mainstream gender into all UN-HABITAT programmes and activities, with special focus on men and women in slums and informal settlements
- Technical advice and assessment of the impact of gender on the agency’s human settlements projects (eg. water and sanitation and the provision of other basic urban services, post-crisis and disaster management, land and tenure, safety and security in cities, housing finance, etc.)
- Using high profile fora and the media to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality and their benefits for sustainable urbanisation
- Publishing resource materials with evidence-based information on gender and urbanisation topics
- Expert Group Meetings to gather and share knowledge on gender and urbanisation
- Building partnerships on the global, regional and local levels to advance gender equality in towns and cities
- Capacity-building and training to help local authorities mainstream gender more effectively
- Training and support to women’s networks on leadership influencing local decision-makers
- Gender training for UN-HABITAT staff
Global research and monitoring
- Global assessment of gender mainstreaming in local governments
Click here to read more about activities and results
- Producing, disseminating and promoting sex-disaggregated data to enable comparative analysis of the situations of men and women in cities