Cash & Livelihoods

Peter Biro

Women's Empowerment

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Women and girls make up more than half of the world’s forcibly displaced people. Thrown into often impossible situations, they are compelled to adopt new strategies to support themselves, and these new livelihood strategies can increase their risk of gender-based violence. Usually having fled with few resources and little preparation, refugee and other displaced women have no safety net to fall back on. In addition, they may become separated from or lose family members.

Lacking access to economic opportunities forces many displaced women and girls often face a trade-off between their safety and their livelihood—and they usually must sacrifice the former.  The Women's Refugee Commission recognizes that women should be able to make informed decisions about their own wellbeing and that of their families. We believe that women themselves can best advise humanitarian agencies that are running livelihood programs on the scale and size of their risks and suggest ways to manage them. We advocate for those designing economic programs to involve women at all stages, from the initial start-up phase, through carrying out the project, to evaluating it after it's over. 

Amplifying the voices of women who have been displaced, we identify promising practices, develop guidelines and train the humanitarian community on safe and effective interventions to improve and expand their livelihood options.