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The Huairou Commission

The Huairou Commission is a global membership and partnership coalition that empowers grassroots women’s organizations to enhance their community development practice and to exercise collective political power at the global level.

Driven by grassroots women’s organizations from around the world, the members and partners of the Huairou Commission believe it is in the best interest of local communities and the global development field for grassroots women leaders to expand their participation and leadership in community development work on the issues that affect their daily lives. Huairou Commission members and partners believe grassroots women’s participation in local to global decision-making is a reliable route to achieving gender equitable, pro-poor policies and investments.

The Huairou Commission is structured as a global membership coalition of women’s networks, non governmental and grassroots women’s organizations in 54 countries. HC has institutional and individual partners who share our political vision and commit to concrete, ongoing work with the Huairou Commission, leveraging and sharing their credibility, information and resources to advance grassroots women’s position and priorities. HC establishes and models transformative partnerships between grassroots women and professionals.

The majority of the Huairou Commission’s work takes place through four campaigns: AIDS, Community Resilience, Governance and Land & Housing.

The Land and Housing Campaign emerged as a response to the work of grassroots women’s organizations in securing tenure for women, reversing evictions, securing titles, curbing disinheritance and fighting discriminatory land tenure policies. 

The Land and Housing Campaign aims to transform dominant social, political and cultural perceptions and practices that hinder or deny women’s access, control and ownership of land and property.  These perceptions and practices suppress the critical roles that women play in development, production and management.  We prioritize the importance of women’s roles in decision making over land at the household, local, national and international levels. 

The Land and Housing Campaign seeks to:

  • Increase voice and visibility of women so they can CLAIM land and housing
  • Facilitate opportunities for knowledge building and sharing to encourage grassroots women to GAIN land and housing
  • Enhance the capacity of grassroots women to hold stakeholders accountable and to increase grassroots women’s participation in decision making in order to MAINTAIN their land and housing

Established in 1995 at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, the Huairou Commission has been committed since its founding to grounding the global women’s movement in grassroots community development issues and to ensuring that women are central in the human settlements field. Therefore, we also position grassroots women in important global processes beyond our Campaigns. Through the Huairou Commission, grassroots women have participated regularly in UN Habitat conferences and the UN Commission on the Status of Women since 1996. Most recently, HC has brought grassroots women’s voices and positions into the Gender Equality Architecture Reform (GEAR) advocacy which led to the historic creation of the new UN women’s agency - UN Women, in 2010.

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