Putting Refugee Girls and Women First with The Women’s Refugee Commission

Note from the CREDO team: This January, The Women’s Refugee Commission is among three amazing groups that will receive a share of our monthly grant. Funding from the CREDO community will allow WRC to be more flexible, responsive, and relevant, especially in new and emerging crises where our expertise can help shape a gender-transformative response in real-time.    

Read this important blog post about the organization’s critical work, then click here to visit CREDODonations.com to cast your vote to help determine how we distribute our monthly grant to this organization and our other amazing grantees this January.

From Afghanistan to Ukraine, from Ethiopia to Myanmar, more than 100 million people have been forced to flee, leaving behind their homes, their livelihoods, their dreams. Their very basic safety and security have been destroyed by violence, persecution, and human rights violations.

Yet, displaced people are resilient. They are survivors. Given the resources and support they need, they can rebuild their lives and thrive.

For more than 30 years, the Women’s Refugee Commission has worked to ensure that the inalienable rights and the needs of women, children, and young people displaced by conflict and disasters are prioritized in humanitarian response programs.

Before then, refugee women and children were all but invisible. The Women’s Refugee Commission set about to change that. We were the first organization to sit down with refugee women and ask them what they needed, what solutions they proposed. The feedback they shared formed the basis of our advocacy, and continues to do so today.

Our groundbreaking advocacy and research to advance gender equality and resilience have led to transformative changes in the response to conflicts and disasters. As a result, refugee women and young people now have greater access to sexual and reproductive health care from the very onset of an emergency. They are more likely to find safe, dignified work to support themselves and their families. Preventing and responding to sexual and gender-based violence, which is known to increase during conflict and crises, is now on the international agenda. Our pioneering study on child marriage in humanitarian settings provided the most robust evidence to date of the magnitude and the drivers of this violation of human rights. And our advocacy has been instrumental for people seeking asylum in the United States, including helping to reunite parents and children torn apart by the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

Underlying all our work to advance gender equality is a focus on affirming women’s agency and leadership, building self-reliance, and fostering inclusion of the voices of women, men, and young people in all their diversity, including displaced people with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and older people, in decision-making. Our advocacy and research, and the practical training materials we have developed, have strengthened community resilience, bolstered efforts to engage local and national organizations in all phases of humanitarian action, and created the tools that promote greater economic and social justice for the most marginalized groups, working to level the playing field for everyone.

The Women’s Refugee Commission also plays an important convening role. We engage and partner with local and national organizations, humanitarian agencies, donors, and displaced people themselves to create a better world for refugees.

As conflict, COVID, and the climate crisis converge, and the needs of refugees have reached a historic high, the Women’s Refugee Commission’s focus on combining our powers of advocacy and research to achieve more sustainable and transformative humanitarian responses has never been more relevant or needed.

We remain committed to fighting for gender equality for displaced women and girls, and to leading a shift in humanitarian response—one that leverages refugees’ resilience and agency and helps them realize their fullest potential. Learn more about us at womensrefugeecommission.org.