This resource was submitted as part of the 1325+10 PeaceWomen initiative to compile a repository of papers dealing with a broad range of issues around the implementation of 1325, as part of the Women, Peace and Security: From Resolution to Action Geneva High-Level Consultation 15-16 September 2010, Geneva.
This paper attempts to demonstrate that the civil, political and economic empowerment of women and girls and their participation in policies and programmes affecting them, is an effective tool for the protection of people of concern to UNHCR. Empowerment is the process of engaging women and girls in reflection, enquiry and action that will allow them to take control of their own lives and well-being and to respond to protection challenges confronting them. This process enables them to become active members of their community.
The paper will review the background of UNHCR's work with women and girls and the development of the Age, Gender and Diversity Mainstreaming (AGDM) strategy. The paper explains how the empowerment cycle, from education to participation and self-reliance would provide the most effective response to serious protection concerns and concludes that increased attention should be placed on the empowerment of women and girls as a strategy to enhance their protection.