On Saturday 30th of January 2010 a seminar on “Empowerment of Women: Ensuring Housing and Land Rights – MDG 3” was organized by Association for Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB) and Participatory Development Action Program (PDAP) at the National Press Club in Dhaka.
Kelly Koch, National Director of Habitat for Humanity International –
Speech of Ms. Kelly Koch at the seminar on “Empowerment of Women: Ensuring Housing and Land Rights – MDG 3”
“I’m fairly new to
A great achievement for
Contributing financially supports a sense of empowerment for many Bangladeshi women, and Habitat homes provide a place in which women can work to further their livelihood. One of Habitat
If we take examples of widows, it is too often a case that a widow is deprived of her matrimonial home and driven away, ending up destitute. Therefore inheritance rights of women and girls should be promoted and protected to safeguard their human dignity.
When we visit Habitat houses women proudly show us their homes and introduce us to their families. Having a clean and safe house in which they can raise their children or earn an income increases their confidence immensely.
One of our current program focus is on Hygienic Sanitation Facilities and Hygiene Promotion in Rural Bangladesh. This project will provide access to improved sanitation and hygiene conditions for low-income families in our program areas. The project aims to promote a healthy environment for all; with a particular focus on women, children and adolescent girls. By coordinating with local CBOs, we aim to proactively target women-headed or inhabited households, in order to promote their empowerment, gender equality, safety and wellbeing.
Last year we celebrated International Women’s Day by organizing a volunteer house building activity for women called ‘Women Build’. We invited economically solvent women join Habitat’s women beneficiaries in building their homes. The event developed skills and furthered understanding between women from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. We will be hosting yet another Women Build in March. I invite my fellow women colleagues to attend the build. Please speak to me afterwards should you wish to join us on the day.
Five of the eight Millennium Development Goals require the promotion of women’s land and livelihood rights. All development results cannot be sustained without addressing the different needs of women and men. We have found women to be particularly good with their money, in terms of stretching resources and repaying their loans on time and joining as an active partner in development. Let us continue to work proactively with women-focused housing and livelihood programs. Let us create opportunities for women to gain knowledge, strengthen their skills, and increase their ability to earn, educate and lead their families and society.