My City, My Rights: Towards Inclusive and Equitable Urban Spaces for Women

The importance of women’s rights to land and property are increasingly being recognized - both as human rights and as fundamental building blocks for economic development.  So why is it still so hard to know how many women own property? And why do we still deal with inequality when laws and policies ensure equality for men and women in many countries around the globe?

According to Habitat for Humanity’s recent report “Ending Gender Inequality in Land Rights” data on landownership differs greatly among countries. At the same time, this data is not collected systematically. From what is known and available, significantly more men than women own land. Across 10 countries in Africa, only 12 percent of women report owning land individually as opposed to 31 percent of men. Outside of Africa, a similar pattern is observed.

Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the international community provide a great framework to empower women and offer them access to land and shelter. This is stipulated by the SDGs 5 and 11, which talk about gender equality and empowerment of women and girls and making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Now is the time for the European Union and its member states to reviews their global development policies and put more weight on urban and property issues and gender rights.

All these questions will be discussed at the panel debate on urban and gender rights hosted by Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa at the European Development Days in Brussels.

  1. What do we know about women’s right to land and ownership globally?
  2. Why we promote greater access to land for women in the cities? What benefits can we see in this?
  3. Can EU development priorities shift from rural to urban contexts?
  4. Should we stop funding countries where equal rights are guaranteed but not implemented?
  5. Can we change the plight of women and deal with traditions, customs and societies?
  6. How to make women an integral part of decision-making, planning and governance?

WHEN: June, 15, 2016 from 14:00 - 15:30

WHERE: Auditorium A1, Tour & Taxis, Brussels

Moderator: Anna Leach, Moderator, The Guardian, Global Development Professionals Network

Opening remarks: Clare Short, Chair Cities Alliance, Former Secretary of State for International Development, UK


Michal Mlynár, Director General for International Organisations & Development Cooperation Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - Slovakia
Jean-Louis Ville, Acting Director for Human Development and Migration, European Commission
Clare Short, Chairperson, Cities Alliance
Lynette Injette, National Director, Habitat for Humanity Kenya
Abbas Sbeity, Architect, Lebanon, Young Leader

For more information visit the European Development Days .