‘Who Holds the Microphone?’ Crisis-Affected Women’s Voices on Gender-Transformative Changes in Humanitarian Settings

Experiences from Bangladesh, Colombia, Jordan and Uganda

Authored by: Luisa Dietrich, Zorica Skakun, Angélica Cabezas Pino et al.

Categories: Human Rights, Humanitarian Emergencies, Peace Support Operations
Sub-Categories: Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Democratization and Political Participation, Economic Participation, Human Development, Peacemaking, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), Sexual and Reproductive Health
Region: No Region
Year: 2020
Citation: Dietrich, Luisa et al. "‘Who Holds the Microphone?’ Crisis-Affected Women’s Voices on Gender-Transformative Changes in Humanitarian Settings: Experiences from Bangladesh, Colombia, Jordan and Uganda." The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. August 2020.

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Executive Summary

Humanitarian emergencies are growing in scale, duration and complexity. Consequently, the humanitarian sector faces many challenges to respond to the rising and complex needs of affected people. Humanitarian response increasingly collides with development priorities and peacebuilding agendas, and the need to intervene at the nexus of these three is growing. Humanitarian crises are also deeply gendered. The shifting dynamics of contemporary crises have tangible impacts on the lives of women and girls and their enjoyment of their rights, exacerbating existing inequalities and exposing them to new risks and vulnerabilities.

This report contributes to the broader set of efforts by women’s rights stakeholders to identify and share ways that the transformative potential of the Grand Bargain might also be realized for women and girls. We asked the question, what does gender-transformative humanitarian action entail? And we found that women’s meaningful participation in humanitarian response, and the localization of humanitarian action to women’s rights organizations and self-led groups, were key drivers of gender-transformative change. Moreover, we found that strategies to promote gender-transformative change also increased the quantity and quality of women’s participation and the effective localization of humanitarian resources and programming.