Internally displaced women face a range of protection issues on a daily basis. Most notably, sexual and gender-based violence is an unfortunate reality for many. Often without the protection of family and communities they had before displacement, internally displaced women can be vulnerable to rape, domestic violence, forced prostitution, trafficking and any number of other violent situations. Women who have lost their husbands to conflict, also face additional challenges and responsibilities as heads of households, and often have to rely on basic survival skills.
It is national governments that are responsible for protecting and assisting all IDPs, including IDP women. It is thus the responsibility of states to ensure that the particular needs of displaced women are recognized and addressed in national laws and policies. Sometimes governments are simply unaware of the particular needs of women; sometimes they lack the capacity to implement programs that will ensure that IDP women’s concerns are taken seriously. But there are measures that national governments can take to ensure that IDP women receive the protection and assistance they need. This report offers some recommendations for promoting better responses for protection of and assistance to internally displaced women: