Browse by Theme: Conflict & Fragility

On Thursday 1 October, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, Tobias Ellwood, UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a number of other senior politicians from wealthy donor nations and developing countries, as well as leaders of UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs like CARE, meet at the United Nations to launch a new global ‘Roadmap’ to combat gender-based violence in humanitarian crises through to 2020. Here are four ideas for how the Roadmap can make a difference.

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While 3.9 million people have fled Syria, EU heads of state meeting in Brussels – with migration at the top of the agenda – are focusing more on containment and return, than on providing safe and legal options for asylum. The unprecedented global refugee crisis needs a new approach and Europe’s response falls far short.

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One year on from the Global Summit in London on ending sexual violence in conflict, it is right to ask tough questions about its value and the benefit to survivors of violence in countries like the DRC. However, the Summit was never about finishing the job in one go, and numerous initiatives are taking forward the momentum generated last year.

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The APPG on Population, Development and Reproductive Health in collaboration with CARE International is holding a panel discussion in the House of Lords on 2 July on talking points and issues from a forthcoming CARE International paper on Child Marriage in Emergencies.

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This year, world leaders are set to renegotiate global commitments on poverty, climate change and development financing. At the same time, the United Nations has commissioned major reviews of UN efforts on humanitarian coordination, peacebuilding and peacekeeping operations. It is therefore timely, but unfortunate and symptomatic, that the 15th anniversary review of UN commitments to protect and empower women in times of conflict is also happening in 2015, but in a silo from those wider reforms.

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Goal 16 in the Sustainable Development Goals is one of the poor relations in the mix. Both more complex and contentious than many of the proposed 17, it seeks to secure peaceful and open societies as a global target, and is vital. However, to be truly transformational, and to have a chance of surviving the negotiations in 2015, gender has to be a core part of its formulation.

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Where culture is a major barrier to women accessing health care, engaging men in community-based development is an effective way to increase women’s access to health – and promote women’s empowerment more generally – even in contexts affected by conflict and natural disaster, as I saw for myself on a recent visit to Afghanistan...

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