Sunday, March 26, 2017

Urban Tenure

With the expansion of cities and urban infrastructure comes a growing need to better understand the relationship between people and land in urban and peri-urban areas.

Urbanization is a global phenomenon. Countries throughout the world are rapidly urbanizing, particularly in the developing world, and for the first time in human history the majority of people today live in urban areas [1]. By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas. The most urbanized regions include Northern America (82% of the population living in urban areas in 2014), Latin America and the Caribbean (80%) and Europe (73%). In contrast, Africa and Asia remain mostly rural, but are urbanizing faster than the other regions and are projected to become 56 and 64% urban, respectively, by 2050 [2].

The causes of urbanization include natural population growth and rural-urban migration, which can result from under-employment in rural areas, poor agricultural conditions, reclassification of rural to urban land, conflicts in rural areas, and from the prospect of better economic opportunities in urban areas. The consequences of rural-urban migration include the densification of certain parts of the city, often resulting in informal settlements. Urban sprawl and the expansion of the urban footprint may also result—either through formal or informal processes.  

Urban population projections highlight the increasing demand for land, both for housing and food production, as well as for a variety of economic activities related to urban land.  However, since land is a limited resource and increasingly unavailable within cities across the world, intensified pressures on urban land can lead to a shortage of land and skyrocketing land values. To the urban poor, this means that access to land becomes increasingly difficult, be it for housing, food production, or trading. Lack of access to land can result in “informal” or unregulated land management and occupation.

Meanwhile, as competition for land intensifies, nearly 70% of land systems across the globe remain undocumented [3]. Particularly in developing countries, enormous surfaces are covered under social tenures, informal and overlapping rights. Land regularization is not a feasible option to the majority of informal dwellers due to financial, technical and judicial barriers. As a result, rapid urbanization is often associated with a decrease of tenure security, particularly for the urban poor. This can negatively impact millions of people.

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a Component of the Right to an Adequate Standard of Living acknowledged the increasing rates of forced evictions with impunity, the expansion of informal settlements (often without basic services like water, sewage, electricity or roads), the development of unaffordable rental properties, and the tenure insecurity of millions of people [4].

With security of tenure, people are more likely to invest in their families, homes, and futures [5]. When households and communities have secure tenure, they are more willing and able to engage in housing and settlement development processes. When land tenure is secure, land can be a cornerstone for economic growth and an incentive for investment, but when land rights are insecure, this can lead to conflicts, instability and the exclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women, Indigenous Peoples and the poor.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. Draft agreed conclusions 8/8

Strengthening private sector role in women’s economic empowerment

 (cc) Establish and strengthen compliance mechanisms that hold the private sector accountable for advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment as articulated in the Women’s Empowerment Principles established by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) and the Global Compact; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (dd), CSW60 AC, para (h))
(dd) Increase the share of trade and procurement from women’s enterprises,
cooperatives and self-help groups in both the public and private sectors; (Based on
E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (ee))
(ee) Systematically undertake gender-sensitive value chain analyses to inform the
design and implementation of policies that promote and protect women’s rights and decent
work in global value chains. (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (ff))

14. The Commission calls upon Governments to integrate these actions for women’s economic
empowerment in the changing world of work into national sustainable development, poverty
eradication and sectoral strategies, policies and action plans at all levels. (Based on
E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (b), CSW 60 AC, para 25)

15. The Commission calls upon Governments to strengthen the capacity, resources and the
authority of national gender equality mechanisms so that they can support and monitor the
implementation of these actions and work effectively with all relevant national and local
institutions including labour related institutions in their implementation. (Based on
E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (b), CSW 60 AC, para 24 and 25)

16. The Commission calls upon Governments and all other stakeholders to significantly increase
and maximize targeted financing to accelerate the achievement of women’s economic
empowerment in the changing world of work at all levels through all sources of funding, public
and private, domestic resources and official development assistance. (Based on
E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (j))

17. The Commission encourages men and boys to take an active part in, and to engage fully as
agents and beneficiaries of change in the realization of women’s economic empowerment in
the changing world of work. (Based on CSW(AC) para 22)

18. The Commission calls upon the United Nations system, and especially UN-Women and the
International Labour Organization within their respective mandates, to support the
implementation of the present Agreed Conclusions and of the gender-responsive
implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It calls upon UN-Women to continue to play a central
role in promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls and in supporting
Member States, upon their request, in coordinating the United Nations system and in
mobilizing civil society, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders, at all levels, in
support of the full, effective and accelerated implementation of the Beijing Declaration and
Platform for Action and the 2030 Agenda. (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 48, and CSW60
AC, para 28)

19. The Commission calls on all stakeholders to make extraordinary, strong and unrelenting efforts
and investments and take special measures to accelerate the realization of, and make
measurable progress on women’s economic empowerment, their right to work and their rights
at work and to full and productive employment by 2020 as a milestone on the way to the
gender-responsive realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to
mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work Draft agreed conclusions 7/8

Strengthening women’s collective voice, leadership and decision-making
(y) Enact policies and special measures to ensure equal representation and leadership
of women in economic decision-making structures and institutions, as well as in enterprises
and on corporate boards; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (n))

(z) Protect the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining to enable
women workers, including informal and migrant workers, to organize and join unions and
participate in economic decision-making and design of policies for the world of work;
(E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (aa))

(aa) Support tripartite collaboration among Governments, employers and women
workers and their organizations to prevent and redress gender inequalities in the world of work;
(E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (bb))

(bb) Encourage and support women’s leadership in trade unions and workers’
organizations and urge all trade union leaders to effectively represent the interests of women
workers; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (cc))
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work Draft agreed conclusions 6/8

Managing technological and digital change for women’s economic empowerment
(v) Support women’s, particularly young women’s, access to skills and training in new
and emerging fields, especially science, technology, engineering and mathematical education
and digital fluency, by expanding the scope of education and training opportunities;
(E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (x))
(w) Ensure universal access to skills, knowledge, information and communications
technologies that are economically, geographically, linguistically and virtually accessible to
women workers, as well as increased broadband and mobile phone access for women;
(E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (y))
(x) Encourage productive technological change in support of decent, good quality
public and private sector jobs for women in the green economy, especially in the area of climate
change mitigation and adaptation; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (z))
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work Draft agreed conclusions 5/8

Addressing the growing informality of work and mobility of women workers
(r) Make women’s informal employment in domestic work, home-based work and
small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as other own-account and part-time work more
economically viable by extending social protection and minimum living wages, and promoting
the transition to formal employment in line with ILO Transition from the Informal to the
Formal Economy Recommendation, 2015 (No. 204); (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (t))

(s) Adopt national migration policies that are gender responsive, protect labour rights
and promote safe and secure working environments for women migrant workers, regulate the
role of private intermediaries and labour brokers in migration, and enforce laws against
trafficking; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (u))

(t) Strengthen synergies between international migration and development by ensuring
safe, orderly and regular migration policies that uphold women’s human rights in the context of implementation of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (General Assembly
resolution 71/1); (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (v))

(u) Improve collection and analysis of data on the informal economy, disaggregated by
sex, income, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other
relevant factors, using the ILO definition of informality; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (w))
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. Draft agreed conclusions 4/8

Implementing economic and social policies for women’s economic empowerment

  (j) Implement and monitor the impact of macroeconomic policies and reforms for job creation and the promotion of women’s full, equal and productive employment and decent work; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (i))
(k) Create decent, good quality jobs for women in the care economy in the public and private sectors; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (k)
(l) Expand and reprioritize fiscal expenditures for social protection and care infrastructure, such as early childhood education and health care, as a means of addressing the motherhood pay penalty; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (l))
 (m) Establish universal social protection floors, in line with ILO Social Protection Floors recommendation, 2012 (No. 202), as part of national social protection systems to ensure access to social protection for all, including workers outside the formal economy, and progressively achieve higher levels of protection in line with ILO social security standards; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (o))
(n) Ensure that both women and men have access to maternity or parental leave allowances and are not discriminated against when availing themselves of such benefits; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (p))
(o) Undertake targeted measures to recognize, reduce and redistribute women’s disproportionate burden of unpaid care and domestic work, through flexibility in working arrangements without reductions in labour and social protections, and the provision of infrastructure, technology and public services, such as accessible and quality childcare and care facilities for children and other dependents; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (q))
 (p) Systematically measure and incorporate the value of unpaid care and domestic work in the calculation of GDP and the formulation of economic and social policies; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (r))
(q) Prioritize the entry into and advancement in labour markets of young women by ensuring access to education and technical and vocational skills training and eliminating the barriers girls and women face in the transition from school to work; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (s))
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. Draft agreed conclusions 3/8

13. The Commission urges governments, the relevant entities of the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, women’s and other civil society organizations, and the private sector, to take the following actions at the national, regional, and global levels: Strengthening normative and legal frameworks for full employment and decent work for all women 

(a) Achieve universal ratification without reservations and full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and relevant ILO conventions and recommendations; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (a))
 (b) Strengthen laws and regulatory frameworks that prohibit discrimination against women regarding entry into the labour market and terms and conditions of employment, and provide means of redress in cases of non-compliance; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (c)) 
(c) Strengthen and enforce laws and workplace policies that prohibit discrimination in the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in the public and private sectors, and provide means of redress in cases of non-compliance; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (d)) 
(d) Undertake legislative and administrative reforms to ensure women’s equal access to and ownership and control over productive resources and assets, such as land and other forms of property, financial resources, inheritance, natural resources and information and communications technologies; (E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (f))
 (e) Eliminate occupational segregation by addressing discriminatory social norms and promoting women’s equal participation in labour markets, education and training, and encourage women to diversify their occupational choices and enter jobs in emerging fields and growing economic sectors; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (e)) 
(f) Enact and enforce laws and regulations that uphold the principle of equal pay for work of equal value, in compliance with international labour standards, such as ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951, (No. 100), and provide means of redress; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (m)) 
(g) Ratify and implement ILO Domestic Workers Convention, 2011 (No. 189), and enact and enforce laws and regulations that give effect to ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 (No. 183) and Workers with Family Responsibilities Convention, 1981 (No. 156), and other relevant ILO Conventions for the realization of women's right to work and women's right at work; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 1, 49 (p) and para 49 (t)) 
(h) Strengthen and enforce laws and policies to eliminate violence and harassment against women in the workplace and support the development of an ILO instrument that provides an international standard to address violence and harassment against women in the world of work; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (g)) (i) Take special measures to ensure that women who experience multiple and intersecting forms of inequalities, discrimination and marginalization have equal opportunities for decent, good quality work in the public and private sectors; (Based on E/CN.6/2017/3, para 49 (h))

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