Established in 1978 and mandated by General Assembly Resolution, A/56/206, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) aims to provide adequate and sustainable shelter for all. The Programme pursues this goal through monitoring and research, policy development, capacity building, and financing housing and urban development.
UN-HABITAT gender-mainstreams its work with the understanding that women are the worst affected in forced evictions, resettlement schemes, slum clearance, and civil conflict. The Programme pinpoints gender inequality as a root cause of this vulnerability and advocates for women's equal rights in land and property. UN-HABITAT's Land and Tenure section serves as the agency's reference point for this work. Secure land rights "assist directly in the realization of human rights, including the elimination of discrimination against women."
The International Bill of Human Rights and other international human rights instruments, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) inform UN-HABITAT's advocacy on gender equality. "Women’s equal rights to adequate housing, land and property are firmly entrenched in international law."
In addition to equal access to land and property, UN-HABITAT promotes women's equal access to decision-making positions. The Programme's Global Campaign on Urban Governance places particular emphasis on the involvement of women at all levels of decision-making through advocacy and training.
For more information, please visit the official UN-HABITAT website.