Women responders: Placing local action at the centre of humanitarian protection programming

This global research report aims to answer a key question: How is the humanitarian protection sector ensuring the participation and leadership of women responders? The report provides a comprehensive review of collaboration between humanitarian actors and women responders, and provides recommendations and guidance for humanitarian actors and donors in order to increase the participation and leadership of women responders, and improve humanitarian response overall.

Based on interviews with women-led organisations and gender and protection specialists worldwide, a literature review, and field research in Vanuatu and Malawi, the report identifies six core contributions of women responders: access, understanding, reach, raising women's voices and leadership, solidarity, and making interventions more gender transformative and sustainable. It explores the challenges faced by women responders and humanitarian actors; provides extensive examples of actions women take to mitigate and respond to protection risks faced by themselves and others, and the extent to which humanitarian actors currently collaborate with them; and includes a guidance note for practitioners and donors outlining detailed and practical recommendations for meaningful collaboration with women responders in protection programming.

  • Countries: Malawi, Vanuatu, Global
  • Published: November 2018

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