The UN Habitat - Huairou Commission Partnership
UN Habitat has been a partner with the Huairou Commission from the moment of its inception in 1995. While at the 4th World Women’s Conference in Beijing, Wally N’Dow, Director of UN Habitat, approached members GROOTS International, Women and Habitat Network, International Council of Women and WEDO, at the grassroots tent hosted by GROOTS International. He asked these leaders to monitor the next year’s Habitat II Conference in Istanbul to ensure that women’s interests were represented in issues of human settlement. N’Dow dubbed the group the Huairou Commission, after the Beijing suburb where the meeting took place and appointed 50 women leaders from the UN and around the globe to serve. For the first time, a major international coalition of women had a central role to play in the human settlement arena
From that point on, the Huairou Commission has continued to develop a strong partnership with UN Habitat, organizing women’s caucuses at major events such as the World Urban Forums and Governing Council meetings. There have also been major collaborations on initiatives such as the Local to Local Dialogue process and the Global Land Tools Network.
UN-HABITAT is the United Nations Agency for human settlements. It works to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. A key recommendation of the Agenda is to acknowledge the important role that women play in the “attainment of sustainable human settlements.” To achieve this, UN-HABITAT works with all partners, including local authorities, private and non-governmental organizations. The Portal will promote women’s visibility in human settlements and increase access to information and communications technology.
The Huairou Commission develops strategic partnerships and linkages among grassroots women’s organizations, advancing their capacity to collectively influence political spaces on behalf of their communities and enhance their sustainable, resilient community development practices. Driven by grassroots women’s organizations from around the world, the members and partners of the Huairou Commission believe it is in the best interest of local communities and the global development field for grassroots women leaders to expand their participation and leadership in community development work on the issues that affect their daily lives. Huairou Commission members and partners believe grassroots women’s participation in local to global decision-making is a reliable route to achieving gender equitable, pro-poor policies and investments.