This week, grassroots groups around the world who have been organizing to respond to natural disasters in their communities are celebrating International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction (IDDR), a day started in 1989 with approval from the UN General Assembly to recognize how people and communities are reducing their risk to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of DRR. Championed by our partner  UNISDR, the theme of this year's day is "Resilience is for Life", specifically acknowledging both the needs of older people and what they contribute to better planning and understanding of disaster risk in their communities. 



Nearly twenty years ago, grassroots women living in slums and informal settlements gathered in a tent outside the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to advocate for recognition and respect for the central role they play in their families and communities.



New York, NY, USA. September was a whirlwind of activity here in New York City, with twenty seven grassroots women leaders from the Huairou Commission arriving to participate in a three-day Brain Trust meeting of our Community Resilience, Land and Housing Campaign from September 13-15, the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) on September 17-18, and a packed lineup of Climate Week and General Assembly advocacy. In honor of World Habitat Day, we focus on the gains made at the Habitat III Prep Com I.


We have fall internships available at our Secretariat in Brooklyn, New York City. Candidates must be available 16-20 hours per week, with occasional irregular hours during special events, for a minimum of 8 weeks from September through December 2014.

Internships with the Huairou Commission offer the opportunity to directly support community-driven women’s empowerment in marginalized communities, both rural and urban, around the world. Interns work in a nontraditional office environment led by women committed to social change. 


We offer our apologies to anybody who has been a victim of credit card fraud in the past week. Perpetrators have used our donation system to fraudulently charge their victims' credit cards in amounts of USD $5-25 as donations to the Huairou Commission. 

We have temporarily suspended our online credit card system to prevent this activity.

If you suspect that you were fraudulently charged $5-25 by the perpetrators, please write to and include your name, email address, the name of your credit card company and the last 4 digits of your card.

Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience this incident has caused. 


You can make a secure donation to the Huairou Commission through Paypal.


At a critical moment as the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are drafted to determine global priorities for ending poverty, the Huairou Commission and UNDP launch a new community-based research study highlighting how grassroots African women living in poverty are proactively organizing to address challenges of accessing land and justice. Discussions around rule of law and women's land rights are key themes that will be debated this week during the 12th Session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development (OWG12). 

"Women’s access to property is critical for their economic security and for the economic security of their children. When women own their own assets, they also have more independence and a bigger role in decision-making in their households and communities. All this helps improve the strength and prosperity of societies. But around the world, women find obstacles in their way to owning property. Long-standing traditions which put all land and property in the hands of men, inadequate laws, ineffective courts and a lack of education conspire against women’s legitimate rights to assets. These traditions and legal barriers often damage women, their families and development efforts."

Slum Women’s Initiative for Development (SWID), Uganda


The community-based research study Engendering Access to Justice: Grassroots Women's Approaches to Securing Land Rights, will be officially launched tomorrow at an event entitled "Justice and Legal Empowerment for Sustainable Development," hosted by UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, in cooperation with the Mission of Denmark to the United Nations.

The panel discussion will take place on Tuesday, June 17 at the UN from 1:15-2:30 at the North Lawn Building, Conference Room 7.


Del 27 al 29 de mayo, Guayaquil está acogiendo a más de 400 personas llegadas de 37 países distintos para celebrar la cuarta sesión de la Plataforma Regional para la Reducción de Desastres de las Américas. El foro dará cabida, entre otros, a las voces de decenas de líderes comunitarias expertas en prácticas de mitigación del riesgo desastres y reducción de los efectos del cambio climático. El encuentro se produce en un momento clave en el que organismos internacionales se disponen a renovar su apoyo y compromiso por el desarrollo sostenible en la agenda post-2015, así como por el avance del Marco de Acción de Hyogo. El éxito de la futura agenda de desarrollo dependerá de la capacidad de sus formuladores de incorporar las experiencias de las comunidades trabajando sobre el terreno.  

El aumento en la incidencia de tifones, terremotos, corrimientos de tierra, huracanes, etc., que se ha venido experimentado en la última década está llevando a gobiernos de todo el mundo a prestar mayor atención y recursos a su prevención, así como a la mitigación de los estragos que estos desastres generan. En juego no solo hay millones de vidas, sino mucho dinero. Conscientes del papel que durante años las mujeres de base han jugado como primeras en responder a los desastres organizándose en sus comunidades, los gobiernos y organizaciones internacionales han comenzado a escucharlas. El conocimiento que las mujeres de base poseen es clave para la puesta en marcha de planes efectivos de reducción de riesgo de desastres en el futuro.

Autoras: Mara Rodríguez, Maité Rodríguez, Diva Rodríguez y Carmen Sánchez

 Durante los últimos meses, se ha desarrollado la etapa final del proceso de evaluación de implementación del Marco de Acción de Hyogo en todos los países que lo firmaron. Varias organizaciones de mujeres integrantes de la Comisión Huairou y GROOTS Internacional tuvieron la oportunidad de participar en este proceso en sus respectivos países. La siguiente es la experiencia de tres de estas organizaciones: Fundación Guatemala, GROOTS Perú y la Asociación Rosa de Montaña en Venezuela.


From 27 to 29 May, Guayaquil is hosting more than 400 people from 37 different countries at the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas. Among other things, the forum will support the voices of dozens of community leaders skilled in disaster mitigation practices and practices to reduce the effects of climate change risk. The meeting comes at a key moment in which international agencies are preparing to renew their support and commitment to sustainable development in the post-2015 agenda and to advancing the Hyogo Framework for Action. The success of the future agenda of development will depend on the ability of its policy to incorporate the experiences of communities working on the ground.

The increased incidence of typhoons, earthquakes, landslides, and hurricanes which the world has experienced in the last decade is leading governments to give greater attention and resources to the prevention and mitigation of the effects of these natural disasters. The stakes are high-- millions of lives and millions of dollars. For years, grassroots women have played the role of first responders to the crises of natural disasters, and now governments and international organizations have begun to listen. The knowledge base that these women possess is the key to effective implementation of plans which will reduce the impact of future disasters.


In the last few months, the final stage of the evaluation process of the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action has been developed in all the signatory countries. Several women organizations members of Huairou Commission and Groots International had the opportunity to participate in their countries in this process. The following is the experience of three of these organizations:Fundación Guatemala, GROOTS Perú y la Asociación Rosa de Montaña en Venezuela.