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News and Resources

Global Actions on Women and Habitat

News and Resources
By Shelley Buckingham
Over the past thirty years, global efforts have been made to organize women from civil society and grassroots groups to articulate and promote their needs for adequate and dignified living conditions. The importance of documenting violation of women's housing and land rights can not be overstated. By drawing linkages across geographic and cultural contexts housing advocates are helping shape national and international policies.
Rooftops Canada's partners in Cameroon, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe are working tirelessly on housing and land right issues. For example, in Cameroon, Land consultation clinics have been set up to educate women on their rights in the wake of large scale evictions by local government authorities. Hundreds of families have lost their homes. Rooftops Canada has been a member of the Habitat international Coalition (HIC) since 1987. It is a global network of over 400 groups working on housing rights issues.
The HIC Women and Shelter Network has been actively involved in supporting and encouraging women in social, professional, and academic civil society organizations and groups to identify shelter priorities, exchange experiences, acquire information and skills and influence habitat policy and planning. These efforts have been facilitated through a global coordination centre which is currently in India with HIC member organization Sathi All For Partnerships (SAFP). It is supported by regional representatives from Palestine, Cameroun, Nigeria, Brazil and Peru. The network's name has recently been changed to the Women and Habitat Network (HIC-WAH).
Rooftops Canada has supported HIC's efforts for many years through the placement of interns. Two of our 2010 interns will be working with the HIC global office in Santiago, and another will be placed with SAFP to support the work of Women and Habitat Network. An intern with Red Habitat in Bolivia will help support their efforts to secure land rights for indigenous women.
Shelley Buckingham is former Rooftops Canada Intern 2008-2009 placed with the HIC in Santiago. She is still in Chile on an extended contract to July 2010.For more information about HIC, please visit www.hic-net.org