Gender in Humanitarian Action Brief No. 4 Rohingya Refugee Crisis Response - Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (as of 05 June 2018)
Interconnectedness of Gender, Age and Disability Issues in Rohingya Refugee Response
Humanitarian actors in the Rohingya refugee response are delivering humanitarian services to a population differentiated by ‘age, gender and disability’. Gender is a key cross-cutting issue in all sectors of the response. This GiHA brief draws attention to how ‘gender and age’, ‘gender and disability’ and in some cases a combination of all three interact with one another to disadvantage some groups of Rohingya refugees and host communities. The interconnectedness of gender and other crosscutting issues is such that progress made in addressing one cross-cutting issue contributes to achievements in the other. The reverse is also true. For instance, gaps in addressing age specific needs (e.g. the needs of children, older persons) and the needs of persons with disability will negate the achievement of gender equality results. Some of the challenges that affect children, older people and persons with disabilities in accessing humanitarian services in refugee camps and host communities are:
Limited space in camp sites restricts establishment of latrines and the few are shared by high number of people. The majority of latrines are not gender-specific or are not built taking into consideration disabilities.
Lack of privacy in bathing spaces and latrines and fear of assault prevents many women from using these facilities.
Lack of support services for older people means they spend a large part of the day alone. They face challenges in accessing food and other assistance. Similarly, persons with disabilities face challenges and because of limited mobility are unable to reach services and distribution points.
Lack of educational services in the camps for adolescent boys and girls and limited activities targeting this age group means they do not have access to proper school curriculum and are not positively engaged.
Lack of livelihood opportunities exposes refugees to bonded labor in difficult and abusive conditions with little or no pay, and women and girls, in particular, are vulnerable to sexual exploitation and prostitution.
Interventions of some JRP partners, reviewed below, provide useful insights and lessons on inclusion of gender, age and disability for Rohingya refugee response.