Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy mother's day

United Nations Centre for Human Settlements:
"100 Million Homeless in World
Most Are Women and Dependent Children

Up to 100 million people are homeless throughout the world, the majority of them women and dependent children, says Dr. Wally N'Dow, Secretary General of Habitat II, the global conference aimed at developing solutions to urban problems, to be held June 3-14 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The problem is not just homelessness. Overall, at least 600 million people -- again, most of them women and dependent children -- live in shelters that are life threatening or health threatening in developing world cities.
Every day, some 50,000 people, mostly women and children, die as a result of poor shelter, polluted water and inadequate sanitation. Some 70 million women and children live in homes where smoke from cooking fires damages their health.
"The main reason for homelessness among women and their dependent children is poverty," says Dr. N'Dow, who is also Assistant Secretary General and head of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Habitat, dedicated to improving access to housing and basic services for the world's poor, is organizing Habitat II. "Women are doubly disadvantaged by their need to earn a living while providing care for family members and running households."
On May 8, Dr. N'Dow announced the formation of the Huairou Commission on Women, Homes and Community to advise him on gender issues during the Habitat Conference, The Commission was formed to represent the perspective of grass-roots women and is composed of notable women (please define), representatives of non-governmental organizations, women from the private sector and experts in the field of community development.
Of the estimated 1.3 billion people living in poverty around the world, 70 percent are women and girls. Women and girls are also the fastest increasing group of impoverished, a process called "the global feminization of poverty."
India is one of the few developing countries that has tried to count its homeless, finding more than 2.3 million. Western Europe, on the other hand, counts just 6,300 homeless.
The percentage of squatter housing, almost always substandard and likely to be headed by women, also shows housing problems in developing countries, especially in cities. Some 5.5 percent of Turkey's households are squatters but 23.3 percent of all households in the capital of Ankara are squatters. In Peru, 5.6 percent of all households are squatters, but 8.1 percent of households in the capital of Lima are squatters.
Other reasons for female homelessness include:

Women have few or no property rights in many parts of the world. Many women of the world are barred, mostly by custom but sometimes by law, from inheriting or owning the homes in which they live, condemning them and their children to poverty and destitution. Women comprise more than 50 percent of the world's population, but they own only one percent of the world's wealth, United Nation statistics say.

The sharp increase of households headed by women. Some 33 percent of families globally are headed by women, but 45 to 50 percent of households in some African and Latin American countries are headed by women.

Women are much less likely to have steady employment than men, and working women are lower paid, including those in industrial countries. In France and Belgium, women earn about three-quarters of the average male wage, and in Japan, only about half. In Singapore, women earn the equivalent of 72 percent of men's wages; in Hong Kong, 63 percent; in the Republic of Korea, 57 percent.

Some 75 percent of the world's women cannot get formal bank loans because they lack permanent employment and title deeds to land or housing that they can offer as security, or because the laws of their countries classify them as minors, not eligible to make legal transactions.

Of the 23 million refugees, and 27 million internal displaced (within their own countries) worldwide, some 70-80 percent are women and children."

No comments:

Post a Comment