GBV includes work that causes physical, sexual or emotional harm – or other forms of pain, coercion and restriction of personal liberty – and has “long-term consequences on the sexual, physical and mental health of survivors,” according to the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Organization (UNFPA). ).
It is increasingly driven by conflict, climate change, famine and insecurity, increasing vulnerability for girls and women.
‘Desire to Act’
Natalia Kanem, executive director of UNFPA, told the meeting GBV localization in humanitarian crisis, That Peace, justice and dignity are “the birthright of every woman and girl.”
He spoke of the agency’s “clear and ambitious” 2021-2025 roadmap, which reflects a shared vision and emphasizes the need to create new pathways to ensure those rights.
Emphasizing the need for accountability “to ourselves and to each other”, Ms. Kanem said that as the UN’s leading body on the issue, “the UNFPA is committed to standing strong.”
“There is a strong desire to do something about gender-based violence,” she said, adding that “we emphasize the importance of keeping women’s voices at the heart of what we do.”
“Now more than ever, we need them,” she said, pledging to donate a percentage of UNFPA’s humanitarian funds to national and local women’s organizations.
Afghanistan: ‘Important Reminder’
Emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths called the situation in Afghanistan “an important reminder of the early vulnerability of women and girls in crisis.”
She highlighted the important role of women-led local communities, noting that they act as first responders to the crisis.
Recalling a recent trip to Ethiopia, where he heard first-hand accounts of victims by women in Tigris, he said the local population was the first to respond to the atrocities, highlighting the “absolute importance” of listening to women, protecting women and girls, and “Naturally protects the local community to do what they want.”
The protection of women is one of the least funded parts of the humanitarian program, Mr. Griffiths said.
Get the word out
“To provide an ambitious call to action,” said Henrietta Four, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). It’s important to “get the word out” to girls and women about the services available.
“It’s not clear at all,” said Mrs. Four.
He spoke of the UNICEF report We must do better, Which provides a global feminist assessment of the experiences of women and girls during the Covid-1 pandemic epidemic and of the organizations they lead.
The report highlights that the needs of women and girls are ignored or considered later; And despite being at the forefront of the humanitarian crisis, women are not taken seriously enough.
And although demand for GBV services has increased during Covid, there are no resources, said Mrs Four, calling for greater support for the local women’s group, including financial ones.
Fighting the GBV is an important priority for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), High Commissioner Filippo Grandi assured participants, especially in the event of a forced displacement, which is “widespread” with opportunity.
She acknowledges that in times of humanitarian crisis everyone is moving fast, often ignoring the critical role of local women’s organizations.
This was stated by the top official of UNHCR Providing “original, flexible, direct and fast” resources to women-led, community-based organizations without unreasonable red tape is one of the “most important” ways to empower them..
He acknowledged, however, that “this is a difficult challenge” because humanitarian funds follow the trend of being “bureaucratic”.
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