Action Area Policy: Human Dignity (Health and Nutrition, Education, Gender-Responsive Humanitarian Action)

Canada’s feminist approach to human dignity will focus on three core areas: health and nutrition; education; and gender-responsive humanitarian action.

Across all contexts, the poorest and most marginalized face obstacles in accessing resources, support and services for health, nutrition and education, and experience increased vulnerability in times of crisis. All too often, they are women and girls. When they have access to the services they need, they may still experience violence and discrimination due to deeply rooted unequal power relations. As a result, they are unable to reach their highest potential as individuals and break through the cycle of poverty. This is why Canada is advancing human dignity as an Action Area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Health and Nutrition

Context

The past several decades have seen dramatic improvements in health and nutrition outcomes in developing countries. Yet this progress has been unequal, often leaving behind the poorest and most marginalized in underserved communities.

Investments in the health and nutrition of the poor create ripple effects that yield multiple benefits.

Investments in the health and nutrition of the poor create ripple effects that yield multiple benefits. When individuals are healthy and empowered to reach their full potential, they not only survive, but thrive, and can transform themselves and their communities.

But the challenges to reaching the goal of health and wellbeing for the world’s poor are significant.

Weak health systems and resulting gaps in the availability, quality, acceptability and accessibility of services restrict countries’ abilities to respond to the health and nutrition needs of their populations. Health systems remain under-resourced, limiting the availability and coverage of comprehensive services, commodities and information. This is compounded in crisis situations, when inherent weaknesses reduce the ability of health systems to withstand shocks. Furthermore, poor data and weak data-systems impair an adequate understanding of issues impacting the poor, as well as the ability to deliver evidence-based policy and programming.

Canada is committed to helping achieve the SDGs in Canada and in developing countries. SDG 5, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, is at the heart of Canada’s approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda  because it will drive progress toward achieving the other SDGs. 

Unequal access to health services persists. Women and girls in particular face gender, socio-cultural and structural barriers, including: restricted decision-making power, and control over resources, personal healthcare and nutrition; harmful social norms; discrimination; sexual and gender-based violence; and financial obstacles to accessing services and information. Their voices in decision-making processes are often not heard and their views are not adequately reflected in household, community, district, and national policies and programs.

Critical gaps in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) exist, including policies that restrict women’s and girls’ access to family planning, comprehensive sexuality education, basic reproductive health care, and safe abortion and post-abortion care. Pervasive sexual and gender-based violence, including child, early and forced marriage, also limit women’s and girls’ abilities to make free and informed decisions about their bodies and sexualities. Adolescents face unique barriers in accessing health services due to a lack of accurate and evidence-based information about their needs, health-care provider bias, restrictive national policies and restricted decision-making power.

Women and girls still eat least and last. Women persistently face barriers in accessing adequate nutrition for themselves and their children, which increases their chance of acquiring nutritional deficiencies, and jeopardizes not only their lives and livelihoods, but also those of their children. The first 1,000 days of life, from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday, have been identified as a critical window for maternal and child nutrition. Adolescence is also a period of high risk for nutritional deficiency, as it is the second most rapid period of growth after infancy. Poor nutrition during this period will not only affect adult body size and weight, but also babies born to adolescent girls, creating a vicious cycle of malnutrition. 

All of these factors place a disproportionate burden of disease and mortality on those in marginalized situations. As a result, infectious diseases, malnutrition, water-borne diseases, poor hygiene, inability to access and demand quality, age-appropriate sexual and reproductive-health services, and poor maternal, newborn and child health remain leading causes of death and morbidity in low-income countries.

Canada’s priorities

Canada focuses its efforts along three paths to action:

  1. Improving the quality and accessibility of health services for the most marginalized
  2. Increasing access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights
  3. Improving gender-sensitive nutrition for the poorest and most marginalized

Canada supports human rights-based approaches that put the poorest and most marginalized at the heart of all efforts, and fosters constructive dialogue on rights issues related to health and nutrition. Canada advocates and works in partnership with local and national organizations to remove structural, socio-cultural and gender-related barriers.

Canada works in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, including women’s organizations, local civil-society and communities, human-rights defenders, traditional leaders, men and boys, multilateral and global partners, other donors and non-traditional partners such as the private sector to foster coordination and collaboration, and to leverage efforts.

Canada works with adolescents and youth-led organizations advocating for scaled-up action on adolescent health and nutrition, and supports initiatives that amplify women’s and girls’ voices inside and outside the health and nutrition sectors, focusing on local ownership and approaches to drive gender-transformational change.

Canada takes a multi-sectoral approach grounded in the social determinants of health and nutrition, with a focus on innovative approaches. Canada draws on good practices and considers new and innovative solutions where relevant. Where applicable, development innovation may play a role in providing new or improved solutions (business models, policy practices, approaches, partnerships, technologies, behavioural insights or ways of delivery) to transform existing methods.

Canada also supports gender-responsive health and nutrition interventions in crisis and conflict situations. Reaching the most vulnerable with health and nutrition services, including SRHR, building resilience and supporting sustainable health systems, are key components of Canada’s interventions.

1. Improving the quality and accessibility of health services for the most marginalized

Improving inclusive and equitable access to quality, age-appropriate and gender-responsive health services involves supporting evidence and rights-based initiatives with a focus on responding to the diverse needs of the poorest and most marginalized, particularly women and girls. It also entails support for health-system resilience and improving governance and accountability structures.

To advance inclusive and equitable access to health services for the most marginalized, Canada:

2. Increasing access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights

Supporting national systems in the delivery of a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to SRHR addresses barriers and closes gaps in access to services at all levels within the health system, including in fragile, humanitarian and crisis contexts. This includes improving legal and policy environments, empowering communities to know and claim their sexual and reproductive rights, seeking redress when these rights are violated, and strengthening the capacity of stakeholders to advocate for and advance a feminist approach to SRHR.

To support a comprehensive, multi-sectoral approach to SRHR, Canada:

3. Improving gender-sensitive nutrition for the poorest and most marginalized

Improving gender-sensitive nutrition for the poorest and most marginalized by enhancing access to nutritious food, micronutrients and comprehensive nutrition services addresses acute malnutrition, and contributes to supporting nutrition-sensitive food systems through life. This will entail a focus on women, adolescents and young children to address undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies first and foremost.

To advance gender-sensitive nutrition for these groups, Canada:

Selected sources for health and nutrition

General sources

Relevant international commitments

Education

Context

Canada recognizes that education is a powerful tool for empowerment.

The right to a quality education is a catalyst to improving human dignity and a means through which all other rights are realized. Education is a powerful tool for the empowerment of individuals, families, and nations and a portal through which economic, political and social progress takes place. Education is the mechanism used to know and exercise rights, transform harmful social norms and behaviours and address unequal power relations including gender inequality, develop critical thinking skills, tolerance and appreciation of diversity, foster peace and security, and raise awareness about climate change and environmental sustainability. Yet despite major progress globally on access to education and reducing the number of out-of-school children, significant challenges remain in access, learning, quality, equity, governance and financing, especially for women and girls, and particularly in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations.

Drawing on global evidence, Canada uses a feminist and human rights-based approach to education and lifelong learning that leads to improved outcomes among girls, women and marginalized groups, across all initiatives.

130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls of primary-school age, half of them in sub-Saharan Africa, will never enter a classroom

To make progress on achieving sustainable education outcomes for girls and boys, women and men, a number of key challenges need to be addressed.

Barriers to access education persist. These barriers are deeply rooted in power dynamics and inequalities that are reinforced in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations. Girls, adolescent girls, women and marginalized groups still face barriers to getting the education and skills they need to succeed due to gender-based discrimination; sexual and gender-based violence; pregnancy, child, early and forced marriage, female genital mutilation/cutting; physical or emotional abuse in school environments; inaccessible school buildings, absence of accessible separate toilet facilities and menstrual-hygiene management; distance to school; gaps in health services and reproductive rights; or lack of female teachers. Many children work to support family income. Cultural son preference and social biases in favour of men and boys lead to boys taking priority over girls to go to school. These barriers are deeply rooted in power dynamics and inequalities that are reinforced in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations.

Quality of education remains poor. Insufficiently trained and uncertified teachers, outdated curricula, pedagogy and learning materials, under-resourced schools, and school infrastructure that is not safe, secure, accessible, or girl-friendly, all contribute significantly to a learning crisis and poor quality learning environments. When and if children and adolescents get to school, they fail to learn or reach minimum proficiency levels. Curricula, teaching and learning materials are often out of date, do not adequately address comprehensive sexuality education, fail to teach gender equality and often portray negative norms and stereotypes.

Canada is committed to helping achieve the SDGs in Canada and in developing countries. Sustainable Development Goal 5, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, is at the heart of Canada’s approach to implementing the 2030 Agenda  because it will drive progress toward achieving the other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

Marginalized and vulnerable groups still cannot realize their right to education. In order to successfully ensure “education for all”, teaching and learning at all levels needs to take an intersectional approach, one in which the education system and teaching practice understands and addresses the multiple barriers, identities, and vulnerabilities of students. In developing countries including conflict and crisis, the most prevalent groups include: girls, adolescent girls, and women (especially those who experience early pregnancy and harmful practices), learners living in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations, extreme poverty or rural areas, learners with disabilities, LGBTQ2I persons, Indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities, language minorities, young people and adolescents migrating alone to urban centres, refugees and internally displaced persons, and children who work.

Gaps in the governance and accountability of education systems require action. Ministries of education and other education actors, especially in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations, experience capacity issues in developing gender-responsive education sector plans, budgets and policies, curricula and teacher training systems. Women are under-represented in the teaching profession, school leadership, and decision-making positions. Building information management systems with data that are gender-responsive and sex-disaggregated is essential for improving governance and monitoring progress. Likewise, effective management of school infrastructure is critical to ensuring accountability.

Promising innovative solutions in education should be taken to scale. Women, girls and marginalized groups must be empowered as innovators. Innovative approaches and partnerships must leverage new financing for education such as results-based financing and development impact bonds. Systematic, multisectoral responses in partnership with protection, health, nutrition and growth sectors should be scaled up.

Canada’s priorities

Building on the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries and the Whistler Declaration on Unlocking the Power of Adolescent Girls for Sustainable Development, Canada will support gender-responsive quality education and skills development that provides the foundation for lifelong learning while applying a comprehensive and life-cycle approach. Canada’s approach to education contributes to a vision where every girl and boy, regardless of circumstance or identity, is able to enrol in and complete primary and secondary education in a safe, secure and respectful environment, and where youth and adults can develop the skills they need to succeed in life.

Canada pursues its efforts in three key areas:

  1. Improving gender-responsive quality education
  2. Increasing access to gender-responsive, demand-driven, quality skills development
  3. Improving gender-responsive quality education and skills development in conflict, crisis and fragility

Canada integrates gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women across all education initiatives, in addition to specifically targeting efforts at girls, adolescent girls, and women. Canada also engages men and boys at all school levels to challenge harmful norms, attitudes and practices and to transform gender inequalities and unequal power relations. Canada addresses barriers and gaps that prevent marginalized groups, particularly girls, adolescent girls, and women from accessing and completing quality education and skills development programs. Canada emphasizes country ownership of education systems and works in partnership with developing country governments, non-governmental, civil society and women’s organizations, and key education stakeholders, including youth, parent and community groups, to support the implementation of education sector plans. Canada supports approaches that are participatory and that use local solutions and knowledge.

1. Improving gender-responsive quality education

Best practices in ensuring equal access to gender-responsive quality education and learning for all, from early childhood to the end of secondary entails building the capacity of education ministries, school principals, teachers, and community members; strategically focusing on increasing access to quality, inclusive education for girls and marginalized groups in safe, secure, welcoming spaces that meet their specific needs, and dismantling the unique barriers faced by girls and women.

To help tackle barriers to quality education, Canada:

To build education system capacity and improve the quality and gender-responsiveness of education, Canada:

2. Increasing access to gender-responsive, demand-driven, quality skills development

In order to expand opportunities and improve well-being, it is necessary to support skills-based demand-driven certified education and training that emphasizes the importance of developing productive capabilities through multiple pathways to support occupational and educational progression and to reduce skills and gender gaps. Gender-responsive skills development and technical and vocational education and training (TVET), including life skills and higher education, that leads to decent work opportunities entails building the capacity, gender-responsiveness, and professionalization of skills development and training systems involving governments, training institutions, the private sector and trainees, especially women.

To ensure that youth and adults, especially women and adolescent girls, in developing countries are equipped with the skills they need for the jobs of the future, Canada:

To facilitate the school-to-work transition, especially for women and youth, Canada:

3. Improving gender-responsive quality education and skills development in conflict, crisis, and fragility

In situations of conflict, crisis and fragility, affected learners, especially girls, adolescent girls and women, are likely to face greater gaps in access and quality in their education. Refugees in host countries are often also marginalized in host country education systems. Improving access to gender-responsive quality education and skills development for all, particularly for girls, women and marginalized groups in crisis, fragile and conflict- affected situations can be realized through support for a mix of inclusive formal education and temporary schooling including community-based education, stronger coordination across the continuum of crisis, and a strategic focus on reducing barriers to education for crisis-affected and displaced persons and the hardest to reach.

To ensure system strengthening in crisis, fragile and conflict-affected situations, Canada:

Selected sources for education

General sources

Relevant international commitments

A Feminist Approach: Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action

This Action Area policy provides additional guidance on what Canada aims to achieve through its humanitarian action as outlined in the Feminist International Assistance Policy. This policy guides Canada’s humanitarian assistance programming, and advocacy and strategic policy efforts, through targeted and crosscutting approaches.

Context

Canada has adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy to reduce poverty and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. Canada knows that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective way to achieve this goal. Canada’s feminist approach is human rights-based and inclusive. It is strategic and focused, transformative and activist, and evidence-based and accountable.

Canada supports gender-responsive humanitarian action to address the specific needs and priorities of people in vulnerable situations, particularly women and girls, to support their empowerment and to ensure that our aid has a greater and more lasting impact.

In terms of humanitarian assistance, this means that Canada supports gender-responsive humanitarian action, which is needed to address the specific needs and priorities of people in vulnerable situations, particularly women and girls, to support their empowerment and to ensure that our aid has a greater and more lasting impact. By adopting a feminist approach, Canada is thus determined to respect humanitarian principles in the delivery of its humanitarian assistance by ensuring that this assistance appropriately meets the specific needs of people affected by a crisis. Canada knows that adopting a gender-responsive approach to humanitarian assistance also strengthens our entire humanitarian response.

When questions of gender equality are not sufficiently considered in the implementation of humanitarian action, the effectiveness and impact of humanitarian assistance diminishes. It can even be detrimental to the people we are trying to help. Insufficient consideration of pre-existing vulnerabilities means that humanitarian responses do not systematically or adequately meet the specific needs of women and girls. For example, when responses do not take the specific needs and rights of women and girls in displacement camps into account, such as safe places to wash and access to toilets, women are more likely to face sexual and gender-based violence, further undermining their security, dignity and well-being. Women also play a key role in their families and their communities. When they cannot meet their own basic needs, the entire community suffers. For example, when humanitarian responses include specific measures to facilitate women’s access to food supplies, the level of hunger in households drops.

Women and girls have the ability to reduce suffering, facilitate reconciliation, participate in peace processes and rebuild their communities.

Although women and girls are disproportionately affected by conflicts and natural disasters, they also have the ability to contribute to humanitarian efforts and reduce suffering and, beyond humanitarian responses, to facilitate reconciliation, participate in peace processes and rebuild their communities. However, women and girls are too often excluded from the decision-making processes and their potential as agents of change is ignored. Yet, as they trigger social upheaval, crises also offer opportunities to change discriminatory social norms and power imbalances. Humanitarian actors need to recognise and seize these opportunities to contribute to changing unequal power relations and avoid reinforcing discriminatory social norms. Supporting women’s rights groups during humanitarian responses gives women a stronger collective voice and enables them to lobby for their own priorities and for equal decision making. Men and boys can also be strong allies to promote and support women’s rights and they need to be engaged to achieve sustainable gender equality.

Humanitarian actors must remove systemic constraints and obstacles at every level and invest the necessary resources to ensure the full and systemic consideration of gender equality.

Humanitarian actors, including Canada, are responsible for improving humanitarian practices in order to better identify and meet the specific needs of vulnerable and marginalized individuals. However, the implementation of gender equality policies and strategies has not sufficiently been integrated into the way humanitarian assistance is delivered. Humanitarian actors must remove systemic constraints and obstacles at every level and invest the necessary resources to ensure the full and systematic consideration of gender equality in all humanitarian interventions.

Canada’s priorities

Canada’s approach to humanitarian action

In accordance with its commitment to Principles and Good Practices of Humanitarian Donorship, Canada’s humanitarian engagement is:

  • Principled: Canada’s humanitarian assistance supports organizations that adhere to humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.
  • Needs-based: Canada allocates its humanitarian assistance funding to respond proportionately and appropriately to provide protection and assistance to crisis-affected populations.
  • Gender-responsive: Canada’s humanitarian assistance responds to the specific and intersectional needs and priorities of vulnerable and marginalized individuals, particularly women and girls, recognizes their knowledge and abilities, and ensures that they are consulted and are able to equally participate in making and implementing decisions.
  • Innovative: Canada adopts a feminist approach and supports financial and other innovative partnerships and initiatives likely to have a greater impact for people in need.
  • Timely: Canada provides swift and early support in response to humanitarian emergencies to save lives, reduce needs, improve humanitarian outcomes and mitigate long-term impacts.
  • Coordinated: Canada adopts a feminist government-wide approach that brings together diplomatic, humanitarian, development, and peace and security efforts, and collaborates with other humanitarian stakeholders to avoid duplicating effort and to maximize the effectiveness of implementation.

As part of its approach, Canada allocates its humanitarian assistance taking into account levels of need, conflict intensity, displacement and food insecurity.

As a recognized leader in humanitarian assistance, Canada works with other actors in the global humanitarian system to save lives, alleviate suffering and support the dignity of those affected by crises. Canada’s International Humanitarian Assistance is intended to meet the needs of people affected by human induced crises and natural disasters, by supporting swift, coordinated humanitarian interventions based on humanitarian principles and needs.

The increase in the number and intensity of armed conflicts, as well as the scope and frequency of natural disasters, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, has resulted in unprecedented humanitarian needs. Faced with the growing divide between humanitarian needs and available resources, along with the divide between the specific needs of women and girls and the resources allocated, Canada and the rest of the international community constantly strive to improve the effectiveness of the international humanitarian system, as can been seen in our Agenda for Humanity and Grand Bargain commitments. By encouraging more transparent, predictable and flexible funding and better-targeted assistance with more accountability toward the populations in question, the humanitarian system aims to more effectively meet the differentiated needs of those affected by crises. Comprehensive approaches that bring together development, peacebuilding and humanitarian efforts are also needed to achieve long term solutions for people affected by crises and ultimately achieve a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.

Gender-Responsive Humanitarian Action in Comprehensive Approaches

Comprehensive collective efforts are needed to bridge the humanitarian-development-peace nexus and achieve long-term solutions for people affected by crisis. Within its life-saving mandate, humanitarian assistance can contribute to building an enabling environment for a more inclusive, peaceful and prosperous world.

Gender-responsive humanitarian action can play a key role by recognising the potential of women and girls as powerful agents of change and supporting their agency, empowerment and leadership. To contribute to building strong foundations for sustainable gender equality through gender-responsive humanitarian action, Canada:

  • Supports gender-transformative humanitarian action, where and when possible, particularly through initiatives that address unequal power relations, and build resilience and self-reliance capacities;
  • Recognises and supports existing local capacities, systems and structures, including grassroots organisations, women’s rights organisations, as well as formal and informal health, education, legal and governance systems;
  • Encourages long-term investments in livelihoods and inclusive access to employment for affected populations.

More progress must be made to change how we provide humanitarian assistance. Through its Feminist International Assistance Policy, and the Whistler Declaration on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Action, Canada has improved the integration of gender equality considerations so that its overall humanitarian assistance better meets the specific needs of people affected by crisis. Canada has also increased the share of its humanitarian assistance that meets specific needs, such as sexual and reproductive health needs and those related to sexual and gender-based violence.

This policy lays out how Canada pursues its efforts to increase the gender-responsiveness of humanitarian action through targeted and crosscutting approaches in four key areas:

  1. Humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law
  2. Sexual and gender-based violence in the context of humanitarian crises
  3. Sexual and reproductive health during humanitarian interventions
  4. Empowerment of women and girls

The actions taken in these four areas contribute towards Canada’s wider approach to humanitarian action to improve assistance to people in need during humanitarian crises.

This policy supports the overarching 2030 Agenda principle of leaving no one behind and contributes to fulfilling Agenda for Humanity and Grand Bargain commitments made by Canada to address and reduce humanitarian need, risk and vulnerability.  The implementation of this policy is part of Canada’s feminist approach to deliver transformational change to those most in need.

1. Humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law

Humanitarian principles promote an approach guided by humanitarian needs, thereby requiring humanitarian action that fully meets the differentiated needs of women, men, girls and boys affected by crises. The humanitarian system does not systematically take into account poverty and pre-existing vulnerabilities linked to identity factors. In addition, widespread violations of international humanitarian law, including increased attacks against humanitarian actors and medical personnel, as well as the obstruction of aid, increasingly compromise humanitarian access and prevent humanitarian assistance from reaching those most in need.

Canada supports humanitarian actors that adhere to the humanitarian principles

Humanity: Human suffering must be addressed wherever it is found. The purpose of humanitarian action is to protect life and health and ensure respect for human beings.

Neutrality: Humanitarian actors must not take sides in hostilities or engage in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.

Impartiality: Humanitarian action must be carried out on the basis of need alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress and making no distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class or political opinions.

Independence: Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to where humanitarian action is being implemented.

These principles provide the foundations for humanitarian action. They are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected populations, whether in a natural disaster or a complex emergency, such as armed conflict.

To help address these gender equality issues, Canada:

To help preserve the humanitarian space, Canada:

2. Sexual and gender-based violence in the context of humanitarian crises

In humanitarian crises, the collapse of social structures and lawlessness combined with pre-existing gender inequalities increases the risk of exposure to sexual and gender-based violence. As well, human rights are disregarded, and women and girls become particularly susceptible to rape, child, early and forced marriages, infanticide and sexual exploitation. In many armed conflicts, men and boys, particularly adolescent boys, are also the targets of sexual violence. These acts of violence, in violation of international humanitarian law, are often deadly, and if the victims survive, the physical and psychological after-effects prevent them from accessing essential and immediate assistance and, along with their communities, from being able to heal in the long term.

In order to ensure that overall humanitarian action integrates or supports prevention, mitigation and response strategies for sexual and gender-based violence, Canada:

3. Sexual and reproductive health during humanitarian interventions

In humanitarian crises, women’s and girls’ access to reproductive health services is often interrupted, which exposes them to unwanted pregnancies in difficult conditions and increases the risk of unsafe abortions and maternal death. Women affected by crises have a higher risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, childbirth-related complications and infertility. Providing sexual and reproductive health services in the context of humanitarian interventions helps save lives by addressing problems related to unwanted pregnancies, obstetrical complications, sexual and gender-based violence, sexually transmitted infections and a multitude of reproductive complications.

In order to ensure that global humanitarian action integrates or provides the full range of services related to sexual and reproductive health and rights, Canada:

4. Empowerment of women and girls

Women and girls are powerful agents of change in their communities and are the best positioned to identify their needs and the best ways of meeting them. However, in an emergency, their contribution to the humanitarian decision-making process is often ignored. Moreover, current humanitarian practices do not systematically take into account the context and sociocultural obstacles women and girls face, such as limited access to education, in times of crisis. Therefore, such practices cannot ensure the full participation of women and girls in humanitarian processes. The voices and the leadership of women and girls affected by crisis are undervalued and underused in humanitarian interventions.

In order to ensure that humanitarian action takes women’s and girls’ voices and their potential into account, Canada:

Selected Sources for Gender-Responsive Humanitarian Action

General sources

Relevant international commitments

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