Introducing Chapter 4 of the WPS Global Study: Protecting and Promoting the Rights and Leadership of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Settings

By Nela Abey

This chapter discusses the range of violations suffered by women and girls in humanitarian settings and their right to protection under international humanitarian, refugee and human rights law. The study reveals that while increased attention is being paid to violence suffered by women and girls – thus resulting in greater advocacy, visibility, and the development of technical tools – there is insufficient funding dedicated to services for survivors. Women’s security is linked to women’s human rights, such as the right to education, as well as to participation and leadership. However, gender equality is not yet fully embraced as an organising principle of humanitarian work, hindering the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance in its current form.

Key recommendations:

  • Fund the establishment of an independent monitoring mechanism run by women’s civil society groups and women’s human rights defenders to track performance on gender equality, as well as compliance of humanitarian assistance with normative standards and international human rights law
  • Invest in translating all relevant tools on sexual and reproductive health and prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence into local languages to ensure local engagement and sustainability

Facts and Figures:

  • Currently, 27 countries have laws that discriminate against women in their ability to confer nationality to their children, leading to statelessness, particularly in conflict settings
  • Prioritizing women in food distribution is strongly correlated with greater dietary diversity and, in some cases, a 37 percent lower prevalence of hunger
  • For more information, see UN Women’s Global Study Factsheets or the entire Global Study on Women, Peace and Security