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World: Improving participation and protection of displaced women and girls through camp management approaches

Country: World Source: Norwegian Refugee Council This report investigates the structural barriers to meaningful participation of women through a global qualitative study. The findings present practical recommendations for Camp Management agencies to improve the contribution that displaced women and marginalised groups can make to their communities through their inclusion in the coordination of humanitarian responses in camps, informal sites, and urban out of camp neighbourhoods. FOREWORD The humanitarian sector, in recent years, has made ambitious commitments to make participation and empowerment of women and girls a core principle of humanitarian response. This is imperative, not just as a matter of fulfilling basic human rights, but because evidence shows that humanitarian outcomes are enhanced when women s role is strengthened. But the realisation of these commitments is not easy. The contexts where we deliver humanitarian aid are often profoundly patriarchal, and women s exclusion from public life is a broadly accepted norm that often permeates our work. Even if our programmes are reaching roughly equal numbers of men and women, this is of little use in telling us to what extent women have truly participated in the projects we deliver.
The two reports in this publication take us beyond the numbers to look deeply into the role of displaced women in managing the displacement situation of their families and broader communities whether through external humanitarian activities, or by their own initiative. By zooming in on two groups of women community leaders, and older women the reports analyse the valuable contributions that these women are making despite the barriers they face due to pervasive structural inequalities. The reports powerfully illustrate how women s participation in delivery and coordination of humanitarian activities is critical not only for enhancing women s rights and safety, but for ensuring the quality of assistance and services for the community as a whole. This shift in narrative, away from women as vulnerable victims and towards women as important agents of change, is a critical part of achieving our commitments to displaced women s rights, and must be applauded. What is more, the reports provide evidence-based, concrete, and practicable recommendations for teams working on the ground to support and enhance the role of women through humanitarian programmes particularly Camp Management teams, who have such a crucial role to play in enhancing the participation of displaced communities in the humanitarian response. I am thankful to the women, girls, boys, and men who shared their insights for this research, and to the author for allowing their voices to be heard. I welcome these reports, and hope that their recommendations can be of real use to colleagues in the field, all over the world, to bring real change for all people affected by displacement through our humanitarian action, regardless of their gender and age. Marit Glad
Director Programme Development and Support, Norwegian Refugee Council


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