September 21, 2016

Call to World Leaders: Girls and Women Must Be at the Center of Your Refugee Response

Written by Katja Iversen

This post originally appeared on Women Deliver.

In the midst of the global refugee and migrant crisis, girls and women are stepping up for their families and communities. Yet global leaders continue to overlook girls’ and women’s potential to spearhead the global refugee response.

Take this week at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Global leaders will gather in New York to determine how to strengthen international support for refugees and migrant. However, girls and women are left off the High-Level Summit’s agenda, despite the fact that they and their children make up the majority of refugees and migrants entering Europe and have unique needs, as well as tremendous power to create change.

We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to put girls and women at the center of the world’s refugee and migrant response. They are a force for positive change and the key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals world leaders adopted just a year ago.

We know that when girls and women prosper, their families are healthier and their communities are stronger. But in humanitarian crises, violence, harassment and poor access to maternal, sexual and reproductive health information and services threatens their chances to survive, thrive and contribute to their communities. This week at the special Summit on Refugees and Migrants, leaders must start knocking down these barriers by putting girls and women on the agenda, bringing them to the table and increasing investments in the their health, rights and wellbeing, and in solutions that work.

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