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Parallel Event

Wednesday, 6 June 2001
Parallel Event on Local -to-Local Dialogues on Women in Urban Governance - Listening to Women's Voices

Organised by The Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI) of UNDP
11:00 am to 1:30 pm
on Wednesday, 6 June 2001,
with 60 participants

In conjunction with World Habitat Day 2000, with its theme Women in Urban Governance, The Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI), in partnership with the Asian Women and Shelter Network (ASAS) initiated a series of Local-to-Local Dialogues on Women in Urban Governance. These dialogues were to further highlight the need to work with women to promote and acknowledge women's participation and role in urban governance. They are a means to inform women and strengthen their capacity to work in partnership with local government, in addition to strengthening and establishing mechanisms for continued collaboration and access to decision-making channels.

Presentations were made on local-to-local dialogues and activities held in India, Nepal, the Philippines, Turkey, Papua New Guinea and Russia during this parallel event. In all cases it was important to ensure women were first as informed as possible on both their rights and on the situations facing them. The local to local dialogues are a process of on-going dialogue. The challenge is to create institutional arrangements to ensure that meaningful dialogue continues. Women, then, need to ensure they feel empowered and have a collective attitude - doing things together that cannot be done alone. Some experiences in the dialogues showed greater success where women came together in greater numbers. Women need to have confidence in the information that they "own", and the statistics they are working from. This has proved important in working with municipalities as women were able to gather statistics and indicators successfully from their communities. It is also important to remember that communities include both women and men, and therefore mechanisms for everyone to work together are important. Negotiation skills are also key - women are patient and persistent and need to take advantage of this to achieve their goals.

Further local-to-local dialogues are planned in Asia in the future and all participants were encouraged to undertake their own and share lessons and experiences.

 

 

2001 UNCHS