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  • António Guterres: A Voice of Courage for Refugee Women & Children

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    “Fight for a world where women and girls are respected in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities, where they can walk freely, without fear.” This was a call to governments and humanitarian organizations by António Guterres, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    A fierce advocate for humanitarian principles, Guterres instilled compassion in refugee assistance. He led UNHCR as new emergencies erupted, protracted conflicts remained unresolved, and a record sixty million people live in displacement as a result. In response, he devoted his energy, diplomacy, and intense focus to elevate the dialogue about refugees.

    During his tenure (2005-2015), the Women’s Refugee Commission was privileged to work with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to address the impact of gender inequality on displaced women and girls. Together, we brought much-needed attention to refugees with disabilities, and engaged refugee youth as partners in humanitarian action. Under Guterres’ leadership, UNHCR and the WRC launched a campaign to end gender discrimination in nationality laws—a major driver of statelessness, which has a devastating impact on women and their families.

    We are deeply honored to recognize Guterres’ commitment to the wellbeing of refugees with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

    Guterres drew attention to the horrendous abuses women flee only to find themselves further abused and endangered along their journey. “Becoming a refugee is always an ordeal, but believe me, for most of these women, the journey to safety is absolute hell.”

    Come and hear more about what we can do for refugees from António Guterres at the April 21st Voices of Courage Awards Luncheon.