Date of Meeting: 21 September 2017

Meeting Organizer: UNICEF; Mission of Zambia

ISJC Staff Present: Lt-Col. Eirwen Pallant, Capt. Fouzia Mubarik, Jacob Hevenor, Lt. Jemimah Ayanga

Reporter: Jacob Hevenor

Which SDG does this topic cover? 5

Type of meeting: Panel discussion with keynote speaker

Brief summary of presentation of information made

Introduction: Sarnata Reynolds, moderator & Global Migration and Displacement Policy Adviser at Oxfam International

  • Women must have access to rights to be able to rise from displacement
  • Eventual goal is to have women at the table of decision makers
  • Introduce speakers


Andrew Painter, Senior Policy Adviser, UNHCR

  • New York Declaration was a big step towards refugee rights: showed recognition of widespread responsibility
  • More attention must be given to the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF), which is currently used in 11 host countries
    • Country- and regional-level coordination with refugees themselves is key to realizing the CRRF
    • Separate discussions on integrating gender are common
  • Gender is included throughout the NY Declaration, but in the future we need to use targeted language to ensure gender issues are addressed in future compacts


Zara Rapoport, UN Representative, Plan International UN Office

  • Gender is closely linked with displacement – gender issues and vulnerabilities are exposed and exacerbated during crises
    • Ex. Pressure to marry (for various protections) is strong
  • Sexual and gender-based violence responses should be more adaptive to different needs, such as differing age
  • Women and girls are their own people, with rights – not just extension of men
    • So must have direct access to their own rights: through language services, legal providers, some kind of input in refugee policy concerning them
  • “The best way to address the specific needs of girls is to ask them.”


Keynote speaker: Hon. Stephen Kampyongo MP, Minister of Home Affairs, Republic of Zambia

  • We must pursue specific policies focusing on women and girls when developing new agreements. Women are already vulnerable, especially unaccompanied girls
  • Must take gender and age dynamics into account, through concrete language
  • Example: Rwandan refugees never planned/wanted to be in Zambia. When it was finally safe to return, some wanted to stay. Zambia has offered temporary residence and the opportunity to integrate. This is fine, but the root of the problem is that they had to leave in the first place. Lots of issues are solved if people are not displaced to begin with.


Christine Heckman, Gender-based violence in emergencies specialist, UNICEF

  • Risk factors (age, gender, unaccompanied) tend to compound and create a vicious cycle. But providing services to girls who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) can break that cycle
  • We must stand up to child marriage, even if it’s being spun as a protective action
  • These are not one-off issues, to be resolved individually. They’re systemic, feeding into each other and growing organically
  • Specific suggestion: we need in-between services for adolescent girls. Too often the programs are for children or adult women, which don’t fit for adolescents.
    • Programs for young women have to be fully accessible and sustainable


Marcy Hersh, Senior Advocacy Officer, Women’s Refugee Commission

  • Not all women and girls have the same traits. They have intersecting needs
    • Therefore a rights-based approach requires recognizing diversity
  • The NY Declaration does well to speak for women at all stages of displacement. Girls are not just victims or objects of policy.


Q&A: Questions about availability of secondary education, providing the right to work to displaced women, and specific policies for disabled female refugees

  • If parents can’t provide, children are often forced out of secondary education
  • It’s also important to remember that education isn’t automatically a safe space: teachers can exploit students, the route to school can be dangerous

At the end of the day, talking to women and understanding them is the best way to meet their needs.


What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

  • There is much common ground between countries and NGOs that are working towards gender equality
  • Women should be heavily involved in policy response and activism, especially refugee women
  • Girls, and adolescent girls in particular, deserve programming and assistance specifically designed for them

Web links for more information


New York Declaration

Tags: United Nations, Women, SDG5: Gender Equality