“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the support they need to live with dignity.
The elected women of Women United for a Better Community from Ayacucho Region at the High Andean of Peru
By Luz Maria Sanchez Hurtado, General Director, Estrategia Inc. July 2016
“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. We are in 17 provinces, 12 regions and 13 districts of Lima, in Peru.
The ongoing training consists in the application of a participative methodology that the women of the organization of “Women United for a Better Community” prepared in order to build the awareness of the grassroots women leaders, teaching the women on issues related to self-esteem, leadership, democracy, and human rights.
The women participants are allowed to share their life experiences during the training process and elect their leaders that represent their organization in a democratic way. The second stage of the training consists in the training of human rights related to the access to the land property. Importantly, the women learn about the importance of recognising housing as a human right.
In the Peruvian Constitution, housing is not pointed out as a human right. The women learn about how to frame the housing laws to advocate to the authorities for their rights.
After the women are empowered, they are able to advocate for their rights to the state and local authorities. The grassroots women elect a management committee that represents the organization at the national and local level to get the benefits required.
One of the most important problems to solve in the poor communities is the lack of land titleling. The requirements to access to a land property vary in different countries. In our case, Peru, the requirements consist in the obtaining of a solution to the risk problems that the housing areas located up on the hills present. The grassroots women need to know about how to solve these problems and are trained on issues related to community risk mapping. The women identify the most important problems to solve during the walk in the whole area that is occupied by their community.
When the grassroots get trained to organize a public event, they will invite the state and local authorities to solve their problems in the community. During the process of the event, the grassroots women present the risk map prepared by themselves during a walk in the community. The state and local authorities will get the engagement letters from the grassroots women asking for the solutions of the problems in the community.
The authorities sign the engagement letters that become tools to advocate and get the benefits required.
The organization of Women United for a Better Community in this phase of working process will start to design a law proposal that protects them from evictions. Together with the NGO Estrategia, they will start to coordinate with the Housing Committee from the Parliament to present the law proposal to protect them from evictions and get the support they need with the approval of housing policies to allow them the access to land at the national level.
The women will attend a National Congress, held in Lima, where they will be trained in the design of the law proposal to protect them from evictions, according to the problems that women have at the national level.
After this process, the women will be trained on issues of internet to be communicated at the national level and start to be informed about the progress of the law proposal presented to the Housing Committee. In case the Parliament does not support the law, the women will start a process of dialogue with the authorities and negotiate with them. And in case the authorities do not give the support the women need, a national mobilization will start to advocate for the approval of the law at the national level.
The grassroots women require to be heard and get the support they need to live with dignity.