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  • 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.

    Innovative approaches to understanding the reproductive health needs of adolescent girls affected by conflict or displacement

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    Can you remember the first time you talked to someone about puberty? Maybe it was telling your mother when you got your period, or asking your older sister about wearing a bra. At 11 or 12 years old, it’s likely you were embarrassed, even to talk to someone close to you. Now imagine, at that age, if a stranger came to ask you about all the embarrassing changes your body was going through or wanted to know what girls your age thought about pregnancy and marriage. How likely would you be to open up and fully express your concerns and your needs?

    Even when adolescents feel comfortable sharing sensitive information, it can be difficult to express needs and priorities about topics that they are unaware of. For example, how can a 16-year-old girl express a need for contraception if she does not know that it is possible for a girl her age to get pregnant? Or why would she describe a lack of menstrual hygiene materials as a major challenge if she is not fully aware of what products are available?

    Putting gender equality and women’s rights at the heart of humanitarian response

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    This week, more than 6,000 advocates, policy experts, and government officials from around the world are gathering in Vancouver, Canada, for the triennial Women Deliver Conference (WD2019). The event—the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and well-being of women and girls—will, for the first time in its history, include a focus on humanitarian response.

    Gender Equality and Self-Reliance: Interlinked Components of Refugee Women’s Protection and Economic Empowerment

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    This week the world is at Women Deliver — the largest convening ever held focused on gender equality. While we all know that making progress on gender equality has been problematic in the world’s most stable, economically advanced societies, how much more so in states plagued by conflict and displacement. In humanitarian response we seldom discuss the role of women’s livelihoods as critical to advancing gender equality and we seldom promote gender equality as a means to tackle and mitigate risks of gender-based violence. The silo-ing of these efforts and interventions is a zero-sum gain.

    The Time to Act Is Now: Addressing Risks of Exploitation for Venezuelan Women and Children Seeking Refuge

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium.

    “You never think it will happen to you.” That’s the simple, devastating message a board member of the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) once delivered on Capitol Hill about becoming a refugee herself. So many refugees would say exactly the same thing. And now it is happening to over 3 million Venezuelans forced to flee a country that was once a safe and prosperous homeland.

    Refugee women’s path to equality and self-reliance

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    For more than 100 years, March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day. And for more than 100 years, the day has provided a chance to take stock of the status of women and women’s rights around the world.

    While it’s indisputable that the situation has improved for some women, there’s still a long way to go before women everywhere are recognized for their strength, their abilities, and their leadership capacities.

    Refugee Youth Participate in UNHCR Dialogue on Protection in Urban Settings

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    This blog was cross-posted from Medium

    Members of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Global Youth Advisory Council (GYAC) have been in Geneva this week to attend the 11th UNHCR High Commissioner’s Dialogue on Protection. The two days of discussions were dedicated to the protection and assistance of refugees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), and stateless persons in urban settings, with a particular focus on cities.