For cities built by and for women

For cities built by and for women

Within the framework of the United Nations Program Assembly for Human Settlements taking place this week in Nairobi, a first-ever Women’s Roundtable was organized focusing on the vital role of women in creating sustainable, safe and resilient cities.

This dialogue, entitled “Women and their role in shaping cities and communities”, was attended by the First Lady of Kenya, Mama Rachel Ruto, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Turkey’s first lady, Emine Erdogan, who addressed the assembly via video, while her counterpart from Botswana, Neo Masisi, sent a video showcasing her work for the emancipation of women.

The discussion, which aims to recognize the vital role women play in enabling cities and communities to thrive, was moderated by Kenyan journalist, Victoria Rubadiri.

In her opening remarks, the First Lady of Kenya stressed the importance of focusing this conversation on the women she sees as “ mirror of society ” and that ” must be present when planning our cities because they are the atom of society “.

We are convinced that the results of today’s dialogue will go a long way towards supporting and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11, which concerns sustainable cities and communities, and through Sustainable Development Goal 5, which is about equality, we will amplify the voice of our women by involving them in the search for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable communities said Mama Rachel Ruto.

In particular, she talked about the many programs she defends, as part of the campaign “Mama doing good to create sustainable cities and communities and to promote equality, as does its cycling program, which aims to inspire cyclists to promote healthy and environmentally responsible communities.

The day also started with a bike ride from State House to the United Nations compound in Gigiri, Nairobi, passing through the city centre. The United Nations Special Envoy for Road Safety, Jean Todt, also attended the event to express his support for urban mobility.

For her part, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat spoke about the progress made by the organization in empowering women around the world. In addition, the head of UN-Habitat leads the “Cities led by women” initiative, which aims to promote women’s leadership and economic empowerment through partnerships and impact investments.

We must ensure that women and girls participate in decision-making at the community level “, she said.

Turkey’s First Lady Emine Erdogan, who champions the Zero Waste movement and chairs its Advisory Council, stressed the importance of women and stakeholders in creating solutions.

I sincerely believe that the solutions that will enlighten humanity will be put into practice under the leadership of the pioneering women and all the eco-friendly volunteers who have gathered at this gathering. “, she said.

Indeed, empowering women to engage and lead the conversation on how to improve their cities and communities is essential for progress. This cannot be done without confronting the systemic barriers in place, the UN agency points out.

The session ended with a reflection by the Minister of Environment and Tourism of Botswana, Phildah Kereng, who concluded: “ To build a city with women, we first need cities built by and for women “.


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