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UN-Habitat hosts Expert Group Meeting for ‘Women In Sustainable Housing’ Programme

By on February 3, 2016

On 7th and 8th of December 2015 the Gender Equality Unit in UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Urban Economy Branch hosted the first Expert Group Meeting for the WISH programme. The women in sustainable housing: Empowerment through decent jobs and sustainable construction programme (WISH) was drafted by UN Habitat within the framework of its gender related and urban economy commitments. The programme is designed to harness the core strengths of UN-Habitat to tackle the dual issues of urban sustainability and gender inequality. The programme will engage women in the construction of sustainable housing while simultaneously running a marketing campaign to increase demand for those facilities and promoting better sectoral policy and access to finance

The purpose of the EGM was to discuss, evaluate and refine a roadmap to programme implementation and indicators for WISH. It aimed to ensure the programme design is cohesive and leads in a step by step manner towards the stated goals; as well as to build moment to fundraising and partnerships. International participants from the private sector, international organizations and financial institutions working with women in urban development, as well as government representatives and civil society organizations came together in Nairobi to create a partnership for action

Firstly, the shape of the programme was reviewed and the problem statement was refined to read “Inadequate recognition, engagement and opportunities for decent work for women in the housing construction sector”. On the basis of this, during the two days the information base and methodology of the programme was discussed in detail. The participants developed new insights into possible partners from different sectors and listed the advantages they bring to capacity building in the programme. Additionally, first steps in creating a network of funders for WISH were made. Participants collectively voted on the importance of publicity and media exposure to make WISH visible and sell the idea to partners, donors and future participants. Finally, all participants will continue to contribute with their knowledge and contacts in the next steps of the programme.

The EGM was a successful initial step in gathering momentum for effective gender equality mainstreaming in sustainable construction and urbanization and as the launch of the Roadmap to WISH. The next important meeting within the WISH framework is planned as a side event to Prepcom 3 in Surabaya, Indonesia on the 21st of July. In the meantime, UN Habitat staff will work on incorporating all progress made during the meeting into the WISH and enhance the WISH network.

If interested in the programme please contact Angela Mwai at the Gender Equality Unit:

Angela Mwai
Unit Leader
Gender Equality Unit, Programme Division, UN-Habitat
T+ 254 20 7625041
E angela.mwai@unhabitat.org