This paper draws together findings from focus group discussions with women from multiple regions and draws upon ActionAid’s experience from a range of humanitarian contexts, including rapid and slow onset disasters and protracted crisis. It presents the barriers and opportunities for women’s leadership in humanitarian response as identified by women from different countries including Palestine.
The research confirms that women bring invaluable contextual knowledge, skills, resources and experiences to emergency preparedness, response and resilience building despite the numerous socio-cultural and economic barriers to exercising their agency and leadership in humanitarian crises. These barriers include, among others, patriarchal gender attitudes and norms that restrict women’s participation in public space and undermine their contribution as leaders; women’s burden of unpaid work; poverty and access to resources; and low levels of education and literacy.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.