Urban informal livelihoods should be on the New Urban Agenda: Expert

Organizations shared experiences working with home-based workers to help them access markets as well as secure basic infrastructure services

GN Bureau | December 23, 2016


#Urban India   #New Urban Agenda   #Harvard Kennedy School  

Urban informal livelihoods should be on the New Urban Agenda, said Professor Martha Chen from Harvard Kennedy School at an event ‘Women’s Economic and Social Rights in India: ‘Exploring New Collaborations and Engagements’.

Professor Chen added, “As part of Harvard SAI Project on Livelihoods in India, we focused on the livelihood needs and constraints faced by women home-based workers, who represent nearly one-third of women workers in India. 

“We partnered with organizations affiliated with both the national and regional networks of home-based workers, HomeNet India and HomeNet South Asia.  In two workshops, the organizations shared experiences working with home-based workers to help them access markets as well as secure housing tenure and basic infrastructure services to make their homes into more productive workplaces.

“They also met with representatives of the official delegation from the Government of India to UN Habitat III to make the case that urban informal livelihoods should be on the New Urban Agenda. We are delighted to share their experiences and the lessons learned at this forum in New Delhi.”

The New Urban Agenda is the outcome document agreed upon at the Habitat III cities conference in Quit, Ecuador, in October 2016. It will guide the efforts around urbanization of a wide range of actors — nation states, city and regional leaders, international development funders, UN programmes and civil society — for the next 20 years.

The project focuses on improving access to secondary education for disadvantaged and marginalized girls, addressing gender-based violence and promoting gender equitable norms and urban livelihood and empowering home-based workers in India.

Dr. Ela Bhatt, founder, SEWA was the chief guest.

Professor Jacqueline Bhabha, FXB Director of Research and Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health said, “While the reality of exclusion and discrimination looms large, it has been exciting to learn about insightful strategies for communities to advance their claims and enforce rights they have. This forum in Delhi gives us a welcome opportunity to draw together the lessons learnt from our 18-month collaboration and explore productive avenues for future work.”

 

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