As the Rohingya Response of Bangladesh nears the two-year mark, the response has evolved from immediate emergency life-saving provisions to other supports (protection, health, nutrition etc). One aspect of this crisis is that majority are women and children (52% women & girls, 55% children under 18) (Rohingya Response Gender Analysis, Lulia, Mita et al, 2018). Thus, responses specific to needs of women and girls are of crucial importance. At the heart of this are Women and Girls’ Safe Space (WGSS) locally called shantikhana (Center of Peace). As UNFPA defines:
“A safe space is a formal or informal place where women and girls feel physically and emotionally safe. The term ‘safe,’ in the present context, refers to the absence of trauma, excessive stress, violence (or fear of violence), or abuse. It is a space where women and girls, being the intended beneficiaries, feel comfortable and enjoy the freedom to express themselves without the fear of judgment or harm.”
CARE Bangladesh conducted an inter-agency study that analyzes collective experience of organizations serving survivors of GBV and other Rohingya women visiting WGSS to understand key successes, good practice, challenges and way-forward.