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  • Men as Partners for Women, Peace and Security: Vital Lessons

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    This was cross-posted from Just Security.

    As a long-time advocate for the leadership, empowerment and protection of marginalized people in global peace and security issues, I have often reflected on my status as a partner, ally and supporter of this agenda. As a white, straight, older, upper-middle-class American man, I do not have the lived experience of exclusion and prejudice faced on a daily basis by women, people of color, the LGBTQ community, ethnic minorities, displaced persons, people in poverty, and indigenous populations. Thus, my role has always been that of an outsider. Similarly, despite having pressed for disability rights for decades, it was only when I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease a few years ago that one of my colleagues said to me with an insider’s tone: “Welcome to the community.”

    Sexual and Reproductive Health: It’s a Human Right in Every Setting

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    This blog was cross-posted on Medium.

    Women and girls displaced by conflict or crisis face a host of sexual and reproductive health-related risks. These include sexual and gender-based violence; sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV; unintended pregnancy; and complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Indeed, lack of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care is one of the leading causes of death, disease, and disability among displaced women and girls of reproductive age.

    It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way: Let’s Do Better for Displaced Girls

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    Despite the emergent spotlight on gender by humanitarian actors, much more needs to be done to challenge the pervasive gender inequalities that affect so many women and adolescent girls who’ve been displaced by conflict or crisis.

    This was on my mind a few weeks ago when, as part of a Women's Refugee Commission (WRC) delegation, I met with women from Central America and from as far away as Cameroon in West Africa. They had fled unimaginable violence and were in migrant shelters and detention centers on both sides of the US/Mexico border. They shared their harrowing stories of rape, abuse, and exploitation along the route.

    A Call for States to Grant Women and Men Everywhere Equal Citizenship

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    This blog was cross-posted on Medium.

    This week in Geneva, the United Nations will mark the midway point of the UN Refugee Agency’s 10-year #IBelong Campaign to End Statelessness. The Global Campaign for Equal Nationality Rights, a coalition of national and international organizations housed at the Women’s Refugee Commission, has supported this effort over the past five years by working to end one of the root causes of statelessness: gender discrimination in nationality laws.

    No Gender Equality Globally Without Women's Empowerment in Humanitarian Settings

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    This blog was cross-posted from Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Four years ago, world leaders made a pledge to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by the year 2030. Goal 5 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs]) contains targets to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, end female genital mutilation and child marriage, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care, and uphold women’s reproductive rights.

    Tomorrow, during the high-level segment of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, leaders will meet to assess progress on the SDGs. This moment provides an opportunity to see how far we’ve come since 2015 on the commitment to achieve gender equality. The Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) is particularly interested in these discussions, and how they relate to the more than 35 million women and girls forced from their homes by conflict and crises.

    Leveraging Cash and Voucher Assistance in Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response

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    This blog was cross-posted from The Cash Learning Partnership.

    A wide-open opportunity for change in humanitarian settings


    Cash and voucher assistance (CVA) is now a common tool in humanitarian action used to meet the diverse needs of those displaced by crisis and conflict, and it is on the rise. Preliminary findings from the 3rd Grand Bargain Cash Workshop this May suggest an estimated 60% scale-up of total cash and voucher delivery from 2016 to 2018; this translates to around US$4.5 billion in CVA (including programming costs) delivered in 2018. Despite a push by several humanitarian actors since 2015, its use for protection outcomes – including to support the prevention of and response to gender-based violence (GBV) – trails behind that of all other sectors.

    tags: Livelihoods

    Real Solutions to the Trump Administration’s Unconscionable Policies Toward Children and Families Seeking Asylum

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    The Trump administration’s deterrence-at-all-costs policies have caused an unprecedented humanitarian crisis at our border. Children who have fled unspeakable violence and poverty are being brutally mistreated on American soil—forced to spend weeks in overcrowded, dirty cells without soap, toothbrushes, or beds. Children are getting sick, being fed uncooked frozen food, and being forced to care for younger children, some as young as four months. Since December, at least five children have died while in the custody of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and just this week another child and her father died in a desperate attempt to seek a better life. And as if all of this were not enough, families are still being separated, ripped apart by the government with no plans to reunify them, despite a judge’s order a year ago to reunite families.

    A Commitment to Refugees with Disabilities

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    This blog was cross-posted from Thomson Reuters Foundation.

    Last week, the Women's Refugee Commission was honored to accept InterAction’s 2019 Disability Inclusion Award. This recognition by our peers is especially meaningful, given our longstanding commitment to promoting disability inclusion in humanitarian response.

    tags: Disabilities

    Shifting power: What does localization of humanitarian aid look like for women and girls with disabilities?

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    This blog is cross-posted from Medium.

    As the organization I work for, the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), attends Women Deliver this week in Vancouver, Canada, I am excited to see so many people–famous or otherwise–show up for gender equality in what promises to be one of the “biggest-ever global conversations about the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women.”

    With women and girls with disabilities making up at least 20% of the population in developing countries and more than half of over 10 million persons with disabilities who have been forcibly displaced, we think it is critical they are part of this wider conversation.

    Let’s talk about cash: helping refugee women protect themselves

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    Let’s talk about cash!

    As thousands of advocates, activists, researchers, and policy makers gather at Women Deliver in Vancouver, Canada, this week to talk about gender equality and women’s rights, I hope we can insert cash into the discussions. More specifically, cash transfers for women displaced by conflicts and crises.