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  • Women in Nepal

    Adolescent Girls

    Safe Access to Fuel and Energy: Rapid Assessment Report for Ruzizi DRC

    Women’s Refugee Commission launched Protecting Women and the Environment of the Great Lakes Region of Africa, a three-year project with the aim of documenting needs, challenges, and potential solutions for safe access to cooking fuel and energy resources for displaced communities in the region. The project comes at a critical juncture, as the combination of natural population growth and long-term, large-scale, and frequent displacement put enormous pressure on the previously abundant natural resources. 

    A key component of this project is to conduct assessments to determine current needs and challenges related to cooking fuel, protection risks, and environmental degradation in order to establish a baseline for future programming. It is in this context that WRC undertook a rapid assessment in Ruzizi Plain, South Kivu.

    Key Recommendations

    • Establish a SAFE working group in Uvira. A SAFE working group in Uvira will help to facilitate a more coordinated, predictable, timely, and effective response to the fuel and energy needs of displaced and crisis-affected populations in Ruzizi Plain. It is recommended that that working group be led the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). 
    • Promote reforestation and the creation of woodlots. In Ruzizi Plain, deforestation is a key concern and a priority of the DRC government. The promotion of woodlots (sustainably managed firewood/timber harvesting areas, typically planted with fast-growing trees) can help to reverse the trend of deforestation, increase the supply of firewood/timber available to displaced and host populations, and reduce tensions between communities. It will also help to support the development of environmental management skills among the population and facilitate employment opportunities.
    • Promote the right of women to own land.  In Ruzizi Plain, women are the principal farmers and firewood collectors, yet they do not have the right to own land. A lack of land ownership puts women at greater risk while collecting firewood and prevents them from being able to reforest land. Moreover, when women have secure rights to land, they are better able to provide for their families.
    • Undertake research on the most appropriate fuel alternatives. Actions have been undertaken to promote fuel-efficient stoves (FES), but there is no clear data on the efficiency and the impact of FES at the household level. There is significant capacity in the region for alternative fuel and energy sources, such as solar, thermal energy, and gas. Research should be undertaken to identify appropriate cooking technologies and safe alternatives to firewood.


    Network of African Women with Disabilities — Key Messages for CSW 2015

    Our Key Messages to Governments:

    All governments have obligations to mainstream and protect the rights of women and children with disabilities in their respective countries affected by humanitarian crises. Accordingly, governments should:

    1. formulate and/or review favorable policies and laws for the protection and promotion of the rights, as well as the empowerment, of women and children with disabilities in humanitarian crises;
    2. establish disability focal persons/desks in ministries responsible for humanitarian crises for purposes of monitoring policies and programs targeting women and children with disabilities in humanitarian crises;
    3. provide accessible, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services to women with disabilities in humanitarian crises.

    Our Key Messages to United Nations Agencies:

    UN specialized agencies should:

    1. use networks such as NAWWD to connect to DPOs in each country;
    2. form strategic alliances with women’s DPOs in host countries to develop training tool kits for country teams to understand disability and disability inclusion;
    3. collect disaggregated data and analyze it to use for program purposes to include women and girls with disabilities in humanitarian situations;
    4. support partner NGOs and host country DPOs to strengthen the capacity of women and girls with disabilities in camps and affected communities to represent themselves.

    Our Key Messages to Civil Society Organizations (CSO):

    CSOs should:

    1. Women’s rights organizations should build partnership with women’s DPOs;
    2. Consider the diverse needs, skills and capacities of women and girls with different categories of disabilities (such as; intellectual disabilities, mental disabilities, albinism)
    3. Mainstream disability in women’s economic empowerment programs to minimize risks of GBV for women and girls with disabilities;
    4. Advocate for access to targeted services for women and girls with disabilities (for example, inclusive education, dignified employment and comprehensive health services).

    For more information, please contact: Roseweter Mudarikwa – Network of African Women with Disabilities (NAWWD) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    A Guide to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Legal Protection in Acute Emergencies


    Refugee women and girls are exposed to epidemic levels of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) throughout their displacement; they are more affected by violence than any other population of women in the world.

    In times of war and its aftermath, legal structures that traditionally protect women and children, including formal and informal justice systems and respect for the rule of law, break down leaving them vulnerable to abuse including but not limited to rape, early and forced marriage and domestic violence. The atrocities and abuses of war and the resultant culture of violence can become ingrained, creating a culture of impunity.


    The guide summarizes an assessment of War Child Canada’s three-pronged legal protection model was implemented with South Sudanese refugees in Northern Uganda and uses it to identify the most important lessons for ensuring legal protection mechanisms are in place at the onset of an emergency.

    It is meant to help build the evidence base on what may be a replicable model, or set of practices, for survivor-centered SGBV legal protection services in emergency settings; expand understanding of positive practices and lessons learned; and help humanitarian actors gain the competencies needed to uphold their SGBV responsibilities.


    The guide details War Child Canada's three-pronged legal protection model and lessons learned under each of the three areas:

    Lessons learned

    1) Legal Aid: Provision of legal aid services of women and child survivors of SGBV

    • Register as a local law firm, if possible.
    • Develop capacity to work within informal legal systems.
    • Liaise with and work through local structures.
    • Establish clear referral pathways.
    • Provide holistic support to survivors.
    • Plan for community-based part-time worker and volunteer roles and needs.
    • Ensure all active cases can be closed before exit.
    • Identify and plan for other local barriers.


    2) Legal Training: Training and capacity building with legal duty bearers

    • Design trainings to meet the needs of different targeted duty bearers.
    • Ground the learning in traditional values and cultural norms and beliefs.
    • Structure trainings to fit the local context. 
    • Include a deliberate focus on training healthcare personnel.
    • Training of Trainers.
    • Evaluate training effectiveness.
    • Be mindful of boundaries of community volunteer roles. 


    3) Community Awareness: Outreach and awareness-raising

    • Prioritize sensitization and community outreach and education.
    • Conduct mass awareness campaigns.
    • Address the needs of host communities.
    • Engage women as community SGBV leaders.
    • Include community members in awareness campaign design.
    • Emphasize supportive features of local law.
    • Plan for costs to participants.

    Resources for Families Facing Deportation and Separation

    The following guides and reports provide information about family separation due to detention and deportation, safety planning and child welfare for families facing deportation. The documents provide tools for preventing family separation, resources for families caught between the immigration and child welfare systems, and a comprehensive approach to the question on the lips of every mother facing deportation: "What about my children?"

    Las siguientes guías y informes proporcionan información sobre la separación de familias debido a la detención y deportación y guías para las familias que enfrentan la deportación. Los documentos proporcionan herramientas para prevenir la separación de la familia, recursos para las familias atrapadas entre inmigración y el bienestar del niño y un enfoque integral a la pregunta en los labios de todas las madres que enfrentan la deportación: "Qué pasará con mis hijos? "