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Amplifying The Voices Of Women And Girls At The General Assembly’s Refugee Summit

 

Panelists and event organisers at the WILPF-supported event hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations (Photo: Sarah Tunnell/WILPF/PeaceWomen)

As part of WILPF’s ongoing effort to amplify the voices of grassroots women to global policy spaces for action, WILPF co-sponsored an event with CARE International and the Women's Refugee Commission on September 20, entitled “Women and Girl’s Perspectives on the Refugee and Migrant Summit”. Hosted by the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations, it featured speakers from governments of Mexico and Canada, and women peace activists from Bosnia, Denmark, the UK, and Lebanon. The discussion focused on the particular challenges faced by displaced women and girls, policy gaps in camps and resettlement states, and how the international community can best respond to improve the lives of women and girl refugees.

Sabah Al Hallak of the Syrian Women’s League brought the panel’s attention to weaknesses in the current policies and practices of Lebanon and other governments in protecting and assisting Syrian women and girls, especially around legal barriers to education in Lebanon. She advocated for governments such as Lebanon to provide official documentation to refugees free of charge, and to consider variables such as language and the distance students must travel to school when providing educational services.

The testimonies offered by the event panellists provided insight into how the international community can incorporate a gender perspective into its policies and practices for women and girls. As Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canada, stated at the event, “Women and girls are strong agents of change, they are agents of peace, and a key part of any movement.”

Read the full event summary here.