Housing inequalities disproportionately affect women and girls. This is because for many women in emerging markets, their gender is a barrier to accessing decent, affordable and fully serviced housing. Reall advocates for women and girls to be included if we are to fully unlock this social and economic opportunity.
Access to housing finance and ownership rights
Women can often be denied access to housing finance because they earn less. Archaic policies can mean that women can’t inherit housing or will lose their house after divorce or death of their partner. In contrast, affordable homes present an opportunity for women because they give access to an asset. Particularly for women, this is known to lead to empowerment, giving status and influence in the household and as part of their communities more widely.
Climate-smart affordable housing fundamentally supports women’s livelihoods, providing safer home-based economic activities and safer transport options. It enables girls to perform better at school by improving their health, reducing domestic care duties, and providing a private space for homework.
Reall advocates for land and housing to be legally owned by women across Africa and Asia. Secure land and homeownership enhance the social position and financial security of women, while reducing the tolerance of domestic violence. This equips women with a transferable asset in their name that can be leveraged to secure financial services and inherited by their children.
Safety and security
Data shows that having a secure and affordable home reduces vulnerabilities – women who own land are up to eight times less likely to experience domestic violence than women without. Reall’s research shows that longer term, women particularly gain a real sense of security, building a community where they feel safe and can thrive.
Housing is healthcare
Reall’s affordable homes provide electricity, water and sanitation. Access to these basic needs significantly improves the physical health and mental wellbeing of women and girls. Studies show that children in South Asia whose mothers own land are up to 33% less likely to be severely underweight. Decent, affordable housing also provide a healthier environment for the care responsibilities which often fall most heavily on females.