by Dale Buscher and Melissa Gurumurthy
Among the humanitarian agencies responding to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, real progress has been made towards a better understanding of the gendered needs of displaced people and the incorporation of gender-sensitive policies. Nevertheless, challenges remain to ensure that this translates into effective service provision – and that the community does not ignore the "change maker" potential of women and girls. Here, US-based NGO the Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) gives us its assessment of the situation in Jordan.
The Women’s Refugee Commission and American Refugee Committee implemented a pilot project on community-based distribution (CBD) of family planning services in Malakal, South Sudan, to examine whether CBD is applicable and feasible in a humanitarian setting and would enhance people’s access to and use of contraceptives.
Read about the project in this article in St. Anthony's International Review.
Gender-based violence (GBV) remains epidemic in situations of conflict, disaster and displacement. Despite the rhetoric, the new language around GBV, the UN Security Council Resolutions and the myriad of guidelines, women and girls, and to a lesser extent men and boys, continue to be raped, abused and violated in these contexts. Much is known about the facts of GBV and how to respond. It is known, for example, that incidents of GBV escalate, often dramatically, during conflict and displacement. It is also known that 50% of survivors are under the age of 16, and that women and girls with disabilities are 4–10 times more likely to be targeted by GBV as those without disabilities. Humanitarian practitioners know how to set up healthcare responses and, to some extent, legal and psychosocial responses. Far less, however, is known about GBV prevention. How is it operationalised? How is existing guidance on lighting and separate latrines implemented? How are emergency responders held accountable for following globally agreed standards? How can the heightened and varied risks women and girls, in particular, face during conflict and displacement be mitigated?
Read the article by Dale Buscher, senior director for programs, in Humanitarian Exchange Magazine.
This article by Mihoko Tanabe et al in Conflict and Health (July 2013) describes a community-based approach to providing medical care to survivors of sexual assault in Karen State, eastern Burma, developed by the Women's Refugee Commission and its partners.
Read the article here.
This article by Jennifer Schlecht et al in Reproductive Health Matters (June 2013) presents factors that contribute to early relationships and informal marriages in conflict and post-conflict settings, based on qualitative research undertaken among two distinct populations in Uganda.
Dale Buscher has an article in Refuge, Canada’s peer-reviewed refugee periodical published by York University in Toronto. The article presents findings from assessments undertaken by the Women's Refugee Commission in Kampala, New Delhi and Johannesburg, and lays out strategies to address the challenges confronting urban refugees’ ability to enter and compete in the labor market.
Emma Pearce, program officer, disabilities, has an article in Forced Migration Review's special 25th anniversary edition about the needs and rights of persons with disabilities among displaced populations.
Mihoko Tanabe, program officer, reproductive health program, is co-author of "Adolescent sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings," in this issue of Forced Migration Review.