Advancing Women’s Empowerment through Eliminating Discrimination in Rights to Housing, Land and Water
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, together with the Missions of Finland, Germany and Sierra Leone, recently held a side event on women’s economic and social rights entitled: ‘Advancing Women’s Empowerment through Eliminating Discrimination in Rights to Housing, Land and Water’. The side event highlighted several forthcoming developments in international and regional human rights law in relation to women’s rights to housing, land and water, bringing together key experts and organizations working on these issues.
The event was held during the Human Rights Council’s 28th regular session.
– Ambassador of Sierra Leone, Ms Yvette Stevens
– Deputy Head of Finnish Mission, Mr Renne Klinge
– Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Ms Leilani Farha
– CEDAW Committee member, Ms Barbara Bailey
– Initiative for Gender Equality & Development – Africa, Ms Sylvia Noagbesenu
– Human Rights Watch, Mr Richard Pearshouse
The panelists discussed a range of issues related to advancing women’s empowerment, including women’s security of tenure and access to, use of and control over housing, land and water as being essential to women’s equality and well-being. Discussants pointed out that if properly addressed using the human rights framework, security of tenure and access to, use of and control over housing, land and water result in increased safety and security; a means to produce food to feed themselves and their families; a means to produce income to support the health, education, nutritional and other essential needs of their families; a means to raise capital to pursue livelihoods; a bargaining tool in the home; and cushioning to weather economic and other shocks or emergencies. The particular importance of these rights for poor and rural women was highlighted.