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UNECE to focus on women affected by homelessness on World Habitat Day

In 2015, it was estimated that 1.6 billion people worldwide lacked adequate housing. While levels of homelessness vary considerably across UNECE countries, finding sustainable solutions to ensure access to housing for all members of society remains a significant challenge across the region.

Homeless women are among the most marginalised groups in our societies and their numbers are increasing. It is important to raise awareness of the problem and contribute to better understanding of what is specific about the experience of homelessness among women and how best to respond to the needs of women who are homeless.

To draw full attention to this issue on World Habitat Day on 1 October 2018, UNECE and UNOG will open the exhibition “Women Without Walls”. 

 “Women Without Walls” is an exhibition of photographs taken by women affected by homelessness from all over the world. These photographs represent what these women love about their cities, their friends and their families, whilst also highlighting the specific challenges and needs of women experiencing homelessness. The exhibition material has been collated by Café Art, which is a social enterprise based in London, United Kingdom, that showcases artwork created by people affected by homelessness or are socially vulnerable - with 80% of proceeds from the artworks’ sale going to the artists and 20% back into the project. 

The exhibition’s focus clearly illustrates the close link between Sustainable Development Goal 11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and Goal 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

Marking the start of UNECE’s Urban Week events, the exhibition reception takes place on 1 October 2018 at 12:30 in the Passerelle, Building E, Palais des Nations, featuring opening remarks from Mr. Michael Møller, UNOG Director-General, Ms. Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, and Ms Geraldine Crimmins, Artist and representative of Café Art. 

The exhibition will be open to visitors from 1 to 12 October 2018.

To see the full range of events organised for UNECE’s Urban Week (1-5 October), please visit: https://www.unece.org/housing/urbanweek2018.html

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. The purpose of this Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and on the basic right to adequate shelter for all.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. The purpose of this Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and on the basic right to adequate shelter for all.