• Thursday, August 21, 2014
  • A program of IPS Inter Press Service supported by the Dutch MDG3 Fund

    Huairou Commission to hold first Global Summit on Grassroots Women’s Leadership and Governance. NY, March 3-8, 2011

    The Huairou Commission, a global network of women’s organizations operating in 54 countries, is hosting the first Global Summit on Grassroots Women`s Leadership and Governance from March 3 – 8, 2011, in New York City.  The Global Summit, which directly follows the 55th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), will be an opportunity for grassroots women working to increase their leadership and participation in national and international decision-making processes to join with other women leaders to share strategies, debate challenges and create platforms for collective action. Grassroots women leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe will further meet with partners and stakeholders from academia, government, NGOs and the private sector to establish partnerships to advance women’s global leadership.

    “Women from urban and rural poor communities across the world are too often seen as passive recipient of aid and services, instead of practitioners and innovators in development,” says Sarah Silliman, Director of Programs at the Huairou Commission. “This global summit provides a unique and necessary exchange space for women activists who are experts in the development needs of their communities to showcase and build on each other’s work.”

    March 7 – 8 marks the main Partnership Summit at which grassroots leaders will share initiatives that reduce local poverty and advance gender equality with policy makers, development workers, researchers and other activists working to empower women as political leaders and decision makers.  The Partnership Summit will identify areas of collaboration between grassroots organizations, professional partners and institutions, and develop a collaborative statement which will outline common objectives and future commitments to empowering grassroots women to represent their priorities and take formal leadership in decision-making processes on local, national and global levels.  This event will be held at The Church Center for the United Nations, 777 First Avenue at 44th Street in Manhattan, New York City.

    At the Grassroots Summit from March 3 – 5, women from low-income communities in 26 countries who have shown exceptional leadership in Huairou’s Governance Campaign and MDG 3 Initiative will exchange successful strategies for community development, and influencing policy and decision-making processes in local and national governments. During three days of workshops, the Grassroots Summit aims to promote cross-regional peer learning, and encourages participants to identify the effects of international geopolitical and institutional arrangements they face locally. As experts on the needs of their communities, local women leaders will establish key organizing benchmarks that promote democratic, gender-equitable development. They will then share their action plans at the Partnership Summit from March 7-8. The Grassroots Summit will be held at Jennings Hall, 260 Powers Street in Brooklyn, New York City.

    About the Huairou Commission Governance Campaign

    Over the past three years, the Huairou Commission Governance Campaign leveraged and invested over $1.5 million from the Dutch government, UN-Habitat and UNDP to initiate and scale up grassroots women’s leadership in local development practices, understanding and engagement in decision-making processes, and partnerships with local authorities and stakeholders. Over 50 grassroots women’s organizations and networks have taken the lead in the Huairou Commission’s Millennium Development Goal 3 and Local to Local Dialogue initiatives, with impressive results they will share at the Summit.

    The Dutch government’s decision to invest directly in grassroots women’s organizations upon realizing that Millennium Goal 3 was lagging behind marks a shift in the attitude of donors toward recognizing the importance of empowering the recipients of aid to take ownership over development processes in their communities. These investments in capacity building and knowledge exchange on the ground have to be maintained in years to come both financially through private and state donors, and institutionally through entities like the new U.N Women. It is only by recognizing and investing in women as key element in global sustainable development that the challenges facing communities the world over will be adequately addressed and overcome.

    For more information on the summit and how to participate, please visit our website www.huairou.org or contact Sarah Silliman at Sarah.Silliman@huairou.org. Phone: 718.388.8915.

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