New Gender Alert for South Sudan warns of increased sexual and gender-based violence and the need to include women and girls in the humanitarian response


Since the initial eruption of violence in December 2013, the humanitarian situation has deteriorated sharply in South Sudan. According to the UN’s Office of Humanitarian Affairs, an estimated 959,000 people are internally displaced (of which 192,000 are in inaccessible areas) with an additional 293,000 refugees in neighbouring countries .  The crisis has further increased the exposure of girls and women to health-related risks and to sexual and gender-based violence. Women and girls continue to struggle to make their voices heard and are increasingly marginalized by the overall humanitarian response.

Such findings are included in the new Gender Alert for South Sudan, which has been produced in response to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan, and recently updated by UN Women in collaboration with fellow members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action, as well as the in-country GenCap advisor. The document provides practical advice for humanitarian actors on issues that need to be addressed to ensure a better integration of gender equality in the ongoing humanitarian response.

UN Women - together with IFRC, UNHCR, and the Women’s Refugee Commission - is a co-chair of the IASC Reference Group which promotes the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the the global humanitarian system. It is made up of both UN and non-UN agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations committed to developing a humanitarian system based on principles of equality, inclusiveness and human rights for all.

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Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan Gender Alert 2: May 2014