Special Feature: Gender-based Violence in Emergencies

Authored by: Humanitarian Practice Network (Editor)

Categories: Humanitarian Emergencies, Violent Conflict
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Region: No Region
Year: 2014
Citation: Humanitarian Practice Network, ed. "Special Feature: Gender-based Violence in Emergencies." Humanitarian Exchange 60 (2014): 1-35.

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Executive Summary

The special feature of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian crises. International concern over GBV in emergencies has grown significantly in recent years, and good practice standards, guidelines, training resources and other tools have been developed. Yet as Dharini Bhuvanendra and Rebecca Holmes point out in their article on the findings of their recent review of literature on GBV in humanitarian contexts, very little of the evidence and learning from good practice has been adequately documented or disseminated, and there is a profound lack of agreement amongst humanitarian practitioners on how to define, prevent and respond to GBV. Sophie Read-Hamilton’s analysis of the different interpretations of GBV helps to explain why there are conflicting perspectives, and Jeanne Ward provides an update on the revision of the 2005 Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings. Alina Potts and Virginia Zuco report on the International Rescue Committee (IRC)’s experience of operationalising GBV guidance, and Dale Buscher discusses the programming choices agencies can make to help prevent or reduce GBV. The article by Aisha Bain and Marie-France Guimond uses examples from West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to demonstrate how service-based data can be used to improve GBV programming, while Claire Magone cautions against an over-emphasis on collecting prevalence data over addressing victims’ needs. Aurélie Lamazière explains how Geneva Call uses Deeds of Commitment to promote humanitarian norms by armed non-state actors, and Sarah Cotton and Charlotte Nicol describe the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)’s efforts to address GBV. Martha Thompson, Mary Okumu and Atema Eclai reflect on a programme implemented in Darfur from 2008–2011 using the agency of affected communities to improve the safety of women and girls, and Sarah House and colleagues report on a new Violence, Gender and WASH Toolkit. The issue concludes with an article by Gina Pattugalan on the links between food assistance programmes and GBV, and how the World Food Programme (WFP) is adjusting its programming to respond, and Jean Casey and Kelly Hawrylyshyn from Plan International report on the results of a recent survey of humanitarian response in relation to adolescent girls.