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Inter-agency humanitarian study launched on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls

02 Dec 2020

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Credit: Anthony Burke

To mark the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the commencement of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign to end violence against women, the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation (IAHE) Steering Group today released the first-ever global thematic humanitarian evaluation on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

The evaluation reviews progress made in 10 humanitarian crises – in Bangladesh, Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, Chad, Myanmar, Palestine, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

Since 2017, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has made notable progress in integrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls into its humanitarian responses, especially in protracted crises, including better collecting and analysing sex- and age-disaggregated data and using gender expertise to support gender equality programming. Women and girls are also increasingly consulted about their needs, and have increased opportunities to access feedback mechanisms for humanitarian programming.

The report highlights several opportunities where good practices should be replicated to further institutionalize gender equality in humanitarian action and advance the meaningful participation of women and girls in humanitarian decision-making. These include ensuring more consistent access to and use of technical expertise on gender.

In particular, gender experts should be more rapidly deployed in sudden-onset emergencies. They should also remain throughout the crisis to support programming at both the operational and strategic levels.

Other critical factors for success are: increasing funding for programming on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, improving coordination, and better institutionalizing accountability for mainstreaming of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at all levels.

To improve future collective responses in similar contexts, the report offers eight recommendations for humanitarian leadership and humanitarian organizations to action.

The IASC Gender Reference Group will be convening a briefing for gender experts as a first step to discuss the report and its findings.

The full report is available online.

This year’s theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!” As in previous years, this year’s International Day marked the launch of the global 16 Days of Activism campaign to end violence against women. The campaign began on 25 November and will conclude on 10 December, which is International Human Rights Day.