Why Gender Matters in the Discussion on Returns to Syria - 2019
UN Women is committed to ensuring equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of humanitarian action, and works in crises prevention, preparedness and response to reduce vulnerabilities, address risks, promote resilience and leverage women’s leadership. This is done through supporting humanitarian actors and host governments to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in their interventions, and to model and roll out gender responsive humanitarian programming. Since 2013, UN Women has been working with governments and partners under the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) to respond to the needs of those affected by the Syria crisis – both displaced Syrians and host community nationals. As the issue of refugee and IDP returns to Syria increasingly becomes a subject of international attention, UN Women calls for all discussions on this to be underpinned by a human rights-based approach that takes into account gender differential needs and impact.
The following gender analysis of issues of return to Syria summarizes the findings of an exploratory study on the salient gender differences and gender inequalities surrounding refugee and IDP returns, from planning to reintegration inside Syria. Social, economic, and legal gender discrimination related to returns disproportionally impacts women and girls, while men and boys are also at risk of significant protection concerns. UN Women maintains that processes and conditions for return must be gender equitable, and voluntary. The recommendations put forth identify considerations for gender responsive humanitarian action in terms of programmatic response, policy interventions, and necessary areas of research.