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120 Final Policy Paper

Executive Summary

Refugees are people who have moved from their country to another country or have been displaced from within the country due to cases of violence, war, conflict, or natural calamities and disasters. These refugees include men, women, and children who face difficulty settling in the new locations. Women and girls are the most vulnerable in the refugee population since they face atrocities such as sexual violence and gender discrimination from before displacement to relocation in the new areas. UNHCR is one of the many organizations that have taken an interest in helping these vulnerable people while partnering with other government and non-governmental organizations and nations. These organizations advocate for gender rights, peace, and equality for these women and girls’ children. They also offer support by providing them with secure shelter and food. The support may not be enough as these people need to continue with their lives and live a harmonious and secure life. Some women face sexual violence, assault, or abuse in the shelters in which they have been accommodated or in military camps where they are awaiting documentation to be approved to move to places of employment. The organizations need to help such women by finding justice for them and also putting an end to cases of sexual violence from the military forces, thus protecting other refugees or immigrants who will be moving to the country. Policies also need to be implemented, such as the reduction of waiting period for these refugees to obtain asylum claims and employment authorization documents, as well as gender equality policies to be implemented to give these women the right to equal opportunities that may arise within the new location, such as resettlement and documentation rights.


Women and girls face challenges of sexual violence, rape, and assault, especially those who are refugees and displaced from their homes. Most of these women face sexual violence and lack of health care from their homes, and once displaced, they continue to experience the same issues during immigration to new locations. During the immigration process, these women may be sexually abused by military personnel within the borders of the countries to gain access to pass or to get shelter and food (, 2019). These women are less privileged even when it comes to obtaining documentation or asylum claims, documentation for employment, or even relocation documents. These women are discriminated against based on their gender, and male superiority does not allow them to be privileged like men. Thus organizations must advocate for equality for these women and also support them as they deal with recovery from sexual violence and rape. These women need to be supported and not left alone. Policies should also be implemented to deal with the cases of sexual violence, rape, and assault in women. The guidelines should also help these women access justice and equal rights, especially when it comes to employment and other economic opportunities. This paper will discuss the problems that women, especially refugees and those who have experienced post-conflict and conflict situations, the solutions to these problems and policies that should be implemented, and how the Women for Women organization and initiative is helping women in marginalized areas deal with post-conflict issues.

Discussion of the issue

Cases of conflict, civil war, violence, and attacks are becoming more common with time, and their impact on societies is tremendous. In DRC, Congo, Burkina Faso, and other parts of different countries are experiencing violence that leads to the displacement of people from within or outside countries (, 2019). during the civil war and violence, vulnerable groups such as women and girls face problems that leave some of them traumatized and unable to forget. For instance, some women and girls are raped and sexually assaulted and abused. These also lack medical care or financial support to help them get treated. They, therefore, end up being sick or even giving birth to children without any medical help. Some of them even die during the conflict. These conflicts also result in a deepening of other impacts, such as health emergencies. The conflict disrupts the security and protection of women and girls, leaving them more vulnerable (Bastick et al., 2007), for the women and girls who survive the conflict and violence are left seeking justice with no one to help them. It is therefore essential to know that most women who have survived post-war and violence face a lot of fear and burnt of the war within their minds, thus affecting their mental health.

Policy directions that deal with women’s rights

Human rights are advocated worldwide, and so should women’s rights. Women’s rights are the rights of women to live in a free society free from violence, discrimination, and slavery, the rights to fair and equal opportunities and wages, the right to education, the right to free expression, and the freedom to vote, as well as the right to own property. These women’s rights need to ensure that women are not discriminated from men across the world. Different organizations advocate for these women’s rights and ensure that women in society are supported and given equal rights within the community (Bastick et al., 2007). Women’s human rights will offer women the opportunity for education and a voice to speak for what they want to do or how they want to be treated. An example of an organization that advocates for women’s human rights policies includes Women for Women International, which is an organization that advocates for the rights of women who have been involved in violence or those who have survived post-violence events. The organization has implemented specific policies that ensure these vulnerable women are protected, and their rights are heard and implemented by the government. Before the Women For Women International organization, other organizations protected women asylum seekers and refugees (, 2019). These organizations and government agencies ensured that women’s rights were being protected and that policies and laws were implemented to protect women’s rights.

In the 1980s, organizations such as Women in Forced Migration were responsible for the protection of women’s rights. The movement changed to Gender and Forced Migration, which protected women’s and children’s rights. The organization ensured that women’s rights were considered and that discrimination was reduced in society. The movement protected the rights of women asylum seekers and women in immigration from sexual harassment and abuse, as well as protected women from domestic violence (Giles, 2013). The Gender and Forced Migration organization attended the UN Third World Conference For Women in 1985 in Nairobi, where they discussed the protection protocols for female refugees and asylum seekers. The organizations also encouraged other NGOs to form partnerships with the UNHCR to protect the rights of these vulnerable women and girls. The conference resulted in the formation of the first argument for protecting refugee women. The argument was that states, in the exercise of their sovereignty, should adopt an interpretation that women asylum seekers who have faced harsh and inhuman treatment during migration should be considered a particular social group under Article 1A(2) of the 1951 UNHCR (Giles, 2013). The UNHCR defined what the protection of women will be about and the risks the women face, including lack of medical care, financial problems, domestic violence, sexual harassment as well as raising children alone in harsh economic times. The UNHCR ensured that NGOs were in support of these women in society and also came to a conclusion on not only women’s protection but also Gender protection. The UNHCR ensured that gender rights became an international topic and that the protection of women from where they move from to where they move to is supported by international organizations.

Other policies have been recommended over time to ensure gender protection of women and girls, especially during violence or immigration. In Syria, an approach has been recommended for the protection of children. In Syria, the rise in violence since 2011 has resulted in the implementation of some protection policies for children. Children in Syria have been exploited by violence and sexual abuse when violence erupts, especially for girl children (UNHCR, UNICEF, 2015). These have resulted in a partnership between Syria and Canada, with Canada, arguing that child protection needs to be a priority in Syria and other countries dealing with violence. Partnerships between UNICEF, UNHCR, and UNOCHA, a Syrian response plan, have enabled the implementation of specific policies and bills to facilitate child protection. Some policies and bills implemented include the Child Protection stipulated in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990). The Bill of Rights states that the child should be free from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect within and outside their home. The Bill of Rights for Child Protection is universal and has also been reaffirmed in 16.2 of the sustainable development goals to end abuse, violence, exploitation, and trafficking of children (UNHCR, UNICEF, 2015). Child protection humanitarians in Canada ensure that the policy is effectively implemented in Syria since Syrian parties of conflict and violence are taking advantage of the policy, encouraging child trafficking. Canadian humanitarian advocates have prioritized the No Lost Generation (NLO) at international levels for the protection of children against violence and trafficking. The policies and international partnerships with other organizations ensure that children are protected and that the policies implemented are upheld effectively.

The challenge and disadvantage of the Canadian policy implementation in Syria is that it does not address girl children only or gender differentiation during the protection. According to some surveys conducted, it is evident that the most affected population of children during violence in Syria are girl children who are mainly assaulted, and some are even left pregnant or married at an early age (Canada, 2017). Understanding the vulnerability of the female gender when it comes to violence and trafficking will help in the protection of girls and their rights. Although even boy children face trafficking, harassment, and abuse during immigration or violence in Syria, girls are the most vulnerable. It is therefore important to differentiate the policies to protect the girl children or girl population within Syria. The policies should be implemented to ensure that the girls are kept safe and protected from any form of violence while in Syria or even after moving from Syria after the violence (Canada, 2017). It is necessary also to implement policies that will protect the vulnerable female gender of girls who face human trafficking and any kind of violence and sexual assault.

The UN also implemented the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 policy on women’s peace and security in 2000. The policy is mainly recognized since it addresses the issues of gender and peacebuilding in society. The policy was developed from different advocacy rights as well as activists and researchers who argue there is a need to address the issue of women’s rights and how gender relation affects or is affected by factors such as violence and how sustainable peace for these women can be attained. The UNSCR ensured that it created awareness of gender inequality after the years before. Since its implementation in 2000, the organization has created a strong network in which women’s rights will be advocated for. The SCR 1325 had vital objectives, which were to support the role of women in conflict resolution, to encourage women’s participation in peacebuilding and peacemaking, to protect women’s rights during and after conflicts, and to advocate for women’s needs during repatriation, resettlement, rehabilitation or post-conflict reconstruction (, 2019). The UNSCR ensured that it encouraged other organizations to advocate for these rights for women in other states.

Some of the early advocates of women’s humanitarian rights and peace advocated for the protection of women from violence and the understanding of gender inequality. The policies implemented ensure that awareness of gender equality is made effective through educating women in society and empowering them to understand their rights. The organization has collected women in vulnerable locations with the help of other institutions within the UN and internationally through NGOs and educated these women on their rights. The UNSCR partnered with other organizations, such as UNESCO, to empower women and support them in their activities for peacebuilding and gender sensitization. The UNSCR 1325 policy evolved considerably as it began to be adopted at the national level since more women were becoming empowered and educated while extensively participating in peace revolutions and solving societal conflicts (Barnes, 2011). The policy was also encouraged and implemented internationally, encouraging different countries to empower women, promote gender equality, and support those affected by violence or conflicts. At the international level, the UN government provided its support by implementing several other policies that will encourage women’s empowerment in society. The UN civil society also played a significant role in supporting and protecting women and girls education, license, and gender equality policies. The SCR developed and implemented several other policies with different purposes, which have significantly expanded with time, with the most recent one implemented in 2019 (, 2019). These policies have helped in the understanding of women’s rights.

The implementation of these policies at international levels enabled many countries to understand and support gender equality for women. Nations have implemented the advocacy for the rights of women and support for women refugees and asylum seekers rights from violence and freedom for them to access opportunities (UN Women, 2002). The nations have encouraged support by implementing the same or different policies that promote women’s rights thanks to the early policies between the 1990s and 2010. These policies acted as a stepping stone to understanding women’s rights (Barnes, 2011). Empowering the women also encouraged advocacy teams to work under different governmental and non-governmental institutions to support gender equality and peacebuilding among women. Within other nations, groups and NGOs for women have been implemented to continue to fight and support women, including the Women for Women International, GAPS, CEDAW, and many others. These organizations educate women and the public on gender equality and women’s societal position. They also support women who go into political fields and advocate for peacebuilding. The organizations also support other women in peacebuilding activities, such as visiting women who have been affected by violence and showing their concern, speaking to the women about mental health, offering healthcare support for women and girls who have been impacted by violence as well as speaking for the affected women from violence or those sexually harassed female refugees (UN Women, 2002).

The Women for Women International organization is one of the organizations that advocates for peacebuilding, women empowerment, and gender equality. The organization stands and supports women in areas affected by violence, such as in Burkina Faso, DRC Congo, or other parts affected by war or violence (, 2019). Apart from offering food and shelter support, they provide education and empowerment to women, healthcare, and help women advocate or engage in peacebuilding activities. The organization aims to create awareness of gender equality, empower women and girls, and help in peacebuilding. The organization has already done a lot in some countries affected by war and violence. The organization creates small groups of women aware of their rights and empowers them through education, supporting their decisions, and peacebuilding activities. Through education and empowerment, some of these women can access employment and thus support themselves and their families. Through education, some women are empowered to continue advocating for women’s rights within their society. These women can gain power and opportunities that enable them to help other women. Apart from empowerment, the Women for Women International organization also advocates for healthcare for women who have been affected either physically or mentally by violence (, 2019). These women help them access healthcare facilities where they are treated and advice on how to deal with their trauma. The organization has also implemented a financial initiative that allows groups of women to save money and pay less when they access medical care (OHCHR, 2012). The initiative enables women, especially those struggling, to access healthcare services anytime and at a cheaper price. Consequently, the organization also helps in peacebuilding activities such as advocating against violence, helping those who were assaulted or experienced violence to get justice, and helping nations that face violence, war, or conflict to address their differences peacefully.


The Canadian policy that has been implemented for the protection of children against violence, trafficking, and sexual abuse can be considered effective in preventing abuse of children. However, it is essential to understand that the abuse and violence mainly impact girls, who are more vulnerable than boys. Therefore, it is necessary to recommend simplifying or implementing policies for the protection of girls against trafficking and sexual abuse. It is also important to consider following up on the application of these policies within the populations affected in Syria and other places of the world. The policies need to address the challenges that women face and address them effectively. Apart from the policies, strategies to end sexual violence and trafficking need to be implemented. Laws and penalties for people guilty of these crimes should be given strong punishment. Girl children not only need protection but also need to be educated on how they can defend themselves. Moreover, I would recommend that prevention of violence and abuse be implemented through peacemaking and peacebuilding or dealing with the cause of violence before it occurs. Although it may be a challenge, I would recommend protecting the girl children by letting them live in peaceful locations to avoid abuse, harassment, and trafficking.

Since most institutions are advocating for the support and empowerment of women, it is necessary to educate both genders on the benefits of protecting the rights of women and girls in society. It is also essential to advocate for gender equality, but both genders need to know more about their rights and the rights of others. Thus, education for all genders is necessary. Additionally, I recommend implementing more finances and financial support to support education. Financial aid will facilitate all the required resources for educating the masses and all genders. The education should also involve giving access to skills and employment opportunities. For female refugees and asylum seekers, it is crucial to educate them on how to live and work in their new regions. I recommend that the policies be implemented to support these women in education and gain access to more information on either relocation or rehabilitation of their locations.

I would recommend that the policies be implemented and practiced within the society. Empowering and supporting women is necessary, but enforcing laws and policies and encouraging the community to be responsible for their actions are recommended. Laws and policies act as a guide to what needs to be implemented. However, the people or the community must work and take responsibility for enforcing these laws and policies. Men should be encouraged to act responsibly and support women within the society. Women should also learn to take responsibility for addressing and understanding their rights. Through their understanding and support of each other, the women will be able to get rid of negativity surrounding women, especially those who have dealt with violence or those who have had to overcome violence and assault. The women need to support and listen to each other and offer mental support to those who have been assaulted to help them overcome the challenges and trauma they have had to face.

Sustainable development Goals for women’s rights need to be recommended whereby women will be educated or trained and employed while wages are lowered for them, especially those in vulnerable locations. Sustainable development also needs to protect these women’s rights by allowing them to speak for themselves and their needs, allowing them to support each other by giving them opportunities to participate in government or political positions. Women in power should also mentor other women to become successful and live peacefully in society.


Women and girls are the most vulnerable population in the society. In times of war or violence, these women face violence, assault, sexual abuse, harassment, rape, or even trafficking. These women also face the challenge of accessing health care services and justice for those who have experienced violence or rape. Some of these women are forced out of their homes, and while moving, they may be raped or abused while migrating or by military officers who accommodate or are obligated to protect them. Therefore, it is crucial to protect these women and protect their rights. Some NGOs and governments have implemented policies that protect these women and girls. Some organizations have devoted themselves to supporting women’s rights by educating them in vulnerable areas. The Unhumanitarian urgencies and organizations have committed themselves to implementing policies such as the SCR, which protects the rights of women from violence, trafficking, sex, sexual harassment, and abuse. The policies have been developed over the years to protect and advocate for peacemaking and peacebuilding for women in areas where violence is being experienced. Other policies to safeguard children in Canada also help secure and protect children

‘s lives and encourage women to speak up about their experiences during conflict or post-conflict. These women can gain support and justice if they speak up and also get medical care for their trauma. The women are also educated and empowered to know their rights and work towards achieving their respect and dignity.

The policies also need to be followed by law enforcement to protect women’s rights. These will involve carrying out investigations on women who have faced conflicts and violence to arrest those people involved in the harassment of women and find justice for them. The policies must also be implemented internationally and gain international support, ensuring women are protected internationally. Peacebuilding and peacemaking activities should also be encouraged for these women. Peacebuilding activities should involve dealing with conflict from locations affected by violence. Women need to be educated to engage in these peacebuilding activities to support each other and others within society. Policy implementation will ensure that women are protected and respected in the community, and their rights will be encouraged. Women also need to be empowered by gender equality and men in society to enable them to act responsibly. Women need freedom to express themselves both in their private and public lives. These women also need equal opportunities in the education and employment sectors. Policies to encourage gender equality need to be enforced. Therefore, understanding these policies will enable women to live peacefully within our society today.

Reference list

Barnes, K., 2011. The evolution and implementation of UNSCR 1325: An overview. Women, peace and security: Translating policy into practice, pp.15-34.

Bastick, M., Grimm, K. and Kunz, R., 2007. Sexual violence in armed conflict. Global overview and implications for the security sector, Geneva: DCAF.

Canada, G.A. (2017). Minister Bibeau will participate in the conference to protect children from war. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Dec. 2023].

Giles, W., 2013. Women forced to flee: Refugees and internally displaced persons. Women and Wars, pp.80-101.

OHCHR. (2012). Promoting women’s rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. [online] Available at: (2019). Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace, and Security | UN Peacemaker. [online] Available at:

UN Women. (2002). Women, War, Peace: The Independent Experts’ Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peacebuilding (Progress of the World’s Women 2002, Vol. 1). [online] Available at:

UNHCR, UNICEF (2015). Child protection: Syria crisis regional interagency workshop report – Syrian Arab Republic | ReliefWeb. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16 Dec. 2023]. (2019). Democratic Republic of the Congo | Women for Women International. [online] Available at:


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