Published on Sustainable Cities

Celebrating women leaders in Urban, Disaster Risk Management and Land projects

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March 8th marked International Women’s Day. This year’s theme “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world” recognizes the tremendous contribution of women and girls in shaping a more equal recovery from the pandemic.

Women are at the forefront of the COVID-19 response, managing an unprecedented global crisis as community and government leaders, frontline workers, and scientists, while also juggling their home lives.

While we know March as the month that sheds a spotlight on women’s full and effective participation and leadership, these achievements are meant to be celebrated every day . And that is why we wanted you to hear from five women leaders from across the world in urban development, disaster risk management and land administration about their career paths, challenges they have faced and what has helped them get to where they are today.

These women also told us about their priorities and changes they would like to see, and shared some great guidance for the next generation of women leaders.

While these are all unique, powerful and inspiring messages, there is one clear and common takeaway -- that we need a more inclusive and equal world for all, and women must have the opportunity to play a key role in decision-making .

To achieve this, we must work together to break down the cultural and socio-economic barriers that prevent women’s participation and leadership in public institutions, governments, academia, civil society, and the private sector. 

To watch individual interviews, please follow the links below:

  • Minister Amina Abdi Aden, Djibouti Minister of Housing  [link to interview]
  • Esther Mwaura-Muiru, Global Women's Land Rights Manager, International Land Coalition [link to interview]
  • Zarifa Ghafari, Mayor of Maidan Wardak Province, Afghanistan [link to interview]
  • Romina Barrios, Executive Director Organismo Provincial de Integración Social y Urbana (OPISU), Buenos Aires Province [link to interview]
  • Zhyldyz Toktorbaeva, Director, Project Implementation Units of Enhancing Resilience in Kyrgyz (ERIK) and the Covid-19 Emergency Project  [link to interview]

Related links:


Maitreyi Bordia Das

Director, Trust Funds and Partner Relations, Development Finance (DFi)

Victoria Stanley

Senior Land Administration Specialist

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