Challenging the humanitarian status quo: a gender equality revolution
Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan @PrincessSarahZR – UNHCR Patron for Maternal and Newborn Health, Special Advisor for Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition to the World Food Programme, Lead convener of the Roadmap to Accelerate Progress for Every Newborn in Humanitarian Settings 2020–2025
Sorcha O'Callaghan @sorchaoc – Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI
Nearly 132 million people worldwide are in need of assistance and protection due to conflict, persecution and disasters. Women and girls are disproportionately affected by crises, and are at higher risk of violence, abuse, neglect and discrimination. The specific humanitarian needs of women and girls are often inadequately identified nor addressed in humanitarian responses by governments and agencies. They are also at far greater risk of losing their livelihoods and are exposed to a heightened risk of gender-based violence.
A targeted response towards the needs of women and girls must go beyond protection and include meaningful inclusion and participation in all stages of decision-making, from the local to the most senior levels. We must actively challenge the humanitarian system to work better and create more spaces and initiatives that allow women and girls to realise their potential and contribute to the solutions they need to prosper. Evidence shows that when women are included in humanitarian action their entire community benefits, with a cascading effect for generations to come.
Delivering the HPG Annual Lecture this year is Her Royal Highness Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan. Princess Sarah is a UNHCR Patron for Maternal and Newborn Health and member of UNHCR’s Advisory Group on Gender, Forced Displacement, and Protection; Special Advisor to the World Food Programme on Maternal & Child Health and Nutrition; and lead convener of the Roadmap to Accelerate Progress for Every Newborn in Humanitarian Settings 2020–2025. In this lecture, Princess Sarah will make a passionate plea to change the current humanitarian system and put women and girls at the centre of programmes, policies and investments.