Current | Agenda


Debate: Feminist Leadership in Humanitarian Response: Can We Do It?

Date: 02-06-2022
Time: 15:00 - 17:00 hrs
Location: Glazen Zaal, Prinsessegracht 26, The Hague

On May 13th the government of the Netherlands committed to develop a Feminist Foreign Policy. What does this new commitment mean for areas such as humanitarian aid? What are current strengths and weaknesses, and what are opportunities for humanitarian response funded by the Netherlands?
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Note: this session will take place in English. Dutch translation will be accessible through your phone/padlet and earphones.
Since 2016, humanitarian actors have pledged on different occasions to work with local gender equality and women's organisations in the design and implementation of emergency aid. They have also pledged to implement aid that actually meets the needs of women, men, girls, boys and gender non-conforming persons and strengthen their position and rights. 

Crises such as those in Afghanistan and Ukraine show that these commitments are not easily implemented. In the deployment of acute emergency aid, humanitarian actors face various barriers, which hinder successful cooperation with local gender equality and women's organisations and gender responsive and transformative aid. Barriers include insufficient in-house gender knowledge, challenges with identifying suitable local partners in the short term, and (rigid) donor obligations. At the same time, local gender equality and women's organisations that act as first responders often depend on funding from foreign donors and international organisations. Without recognition of their work, they risk not being able to provide or continue crucial services. 
In crisis situations, the focus - and thus budgets - of donors and politicians shift to emergency aid. Peacebuilding and development cooperation, including gender responsive and transformative work, is (temporarily) paused because of the importance of neutrality of humanitarian aid and the shift in priorities. The attention moves from long-term advocacy and capacity building work with grassroots organizations, to the rapid and large-scale setting up of an infrastructure for the provision of goods and services. (Women's) organizations working on peacebuilding and development cooperation, and sometimes shifting or expanding their work to address emergency response needs, call for flexible core funding. 
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We are excited to have a very international expert panel available for this public conversation:
The key questions that will be addressed are: 
1. Why do gender responsive humanitarian response and gender transformative humanitarian response matter?
2. How to organize feminist leadership in humanitarian response?
We will share insights from WO=MEN’s upcoming publication ‘Raise the Ambition: Accelerate the Gender Transformative Potential of Humanitarian Action.’ This publication explores learnings, actionable practices and recommendations for advancing gender transformative change, even in emergencies.

The session will be moderated by Anne-Floor Dekker and Nadia van der Linde with much room for interaction with the audience. 

You are invited to stay for drinks, snacks and informal networking directly following the session. 
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