Miscellaneous - - International

On the frontline: Catalysing women's leadership in humanitarian action

08.08.2018 / Created by (EMWF)

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.


  • Type of publication : Study / Report
  • Author : Alison Barclay, Michelle Higelin and Melissa Bungcaras
  • Publishing house : Action Aid
  • Publication date : 2016
  • Number of pages : 40
  • Language : English


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