UN Women Deputy Executive Director joins the call to end sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises at the Oslo Conference

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director Asa Regner is visiting Norway this week to participate in the international conference on Ending Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Humanitarian Crises, taking place in Oslo, from 23 to 24 May, and to meet with partners and dignitaries.  

At the event, Ms. Regner will stress that women and girls are disproportionately and differently affected in humanitarian, disaster and crisis settings. It is estimated that women and children constituted in 2018 more than 75 per cent of the refugees and displaced persons at risk of war, famine, persecution and natural disasters. One out of five displaced women has experienced gender-based violence.  Making sure that humanitarian action addresses women’s and girls’ needs and builds their self-reliance is more urgent than ever before.

At a panel discussion on “Setting the standards for prevention of and response to Sexual and Gender-based Violence”, the Deputy Executive Director will highlight UN Women’s role in addressing the issue through programmes on the ground that combine leadership, livelihood and second chance education initiatives for crisis-affected women. For instance, in 2018, the 66 Safe Spaces and Empowerment Centres functioning under UN Women programmes in 13 countries offered access to protection, psychosocial support and legal aid services to gender-based violence survivors, among other services for crisis-affected populations.

Ms. Regner will also deliver remarks at a UN Women side event on enhancing the capacities of women-led and women’s rights organizations as first responders to humanitarian crisis. Local women’s groups are often the first responders and are best placed to mobilize change, identify solutions and respond to crises. Women’s leadership is therefore seen as key in promoting transformative change, resilience and social cohesion in humanitarian settings.

As part of her stay in Norway, the Deputy Executive Director will have several meetings with government officials and international partners, including Norwegian Minister of Culture and Equality, Trine Skei Grande;  State Secretary Aksel Jakobsen;  Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the African Union Chairperson for Women, Peace and Security; and Cessouma Minata Samate, Commissioner for Political Affairs of the African Union .