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[New York, New York], UNFPA, 2015.  p.The creation of women and girls safe spaces has emerged as a key strategy for the protection and empowerment of women and girls affected by the Syrian crisis. This document provides an overview of what safe spaces are, and what key principles should be followed when establishing such spaces in humanitarian and post-crisis contexts. This guidance is based on the experiences of UNFPA and its partners in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. It also refers to experiences documented by the Gender-Based Violence coordination mechanisms in Jordan and Lebanon. Lessons learned from other regions are also referenced. Guidance has also been taken from the child protection and adolescent girls sectors in establishing child-friendly spaces and girls’ safe spaces.
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.When wars occur, women are usually the most abused, aggrieved and powerless. In the vast majority of countries, women play no significant role in the decision-making process of whether war is warranted or lawful. When hostilities break out, women are exposed not only to the forms of violence and devastation that accompany any war but also to forms of violence directed specifically at women on account of their gender. The use of sexual violence and sexual slavery as tactics and weapons of war remains at a high level in spite of tremendous strides made by the global community over the past decade. It is imperative to acknowledge the immeasurable injury to body, mind and spirit that is inflicted by these acts. The overall deterioration in the conditions of women in armed conflict situations is due not only to the collapse of social restraints and the general mayhem that armed conflict causes, but also to a strategic decision on the part of combatants to intimidate and destroy the enemy as a whole byraping and enslaving women who are identified as members of the other warring party. (excerpt)
[Unpublished] 2004. Presented at the Conference on Gender Justice in Post-Conflict Situations, "Peace Needs Women and Women Need Justice”. Co-organized by the United Nations Development Fund for Women [UNIFEM] and the International Legal Assistance Consortium. New York, New York, September 15-17, 2004. 5 p.In 1999, I stood among a sea of 20,000 desperate people on a dirt airfield outside Skopje, Macedonia, listening to one harrowing story after another. I had come to the Stenkovec refugee camp to record those stories and to help set up a system for documenting atrocities in Kosovo. The refugees with whom I spoke described being robbed, beaten, herded together and forced to flee their villages with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Yet, what I remember most vividly are the lost expressions on the faces of the young women and girls in the camp. At first, they did not speak a word. Their silence acted as a veil, concealing crimes that they could not emotionally recollect. However, slowly, through time and comfort in speaking to female counsellors, their stories emerged. The brutality and systematic consistency of the sexual violence perpetrated on these women were mind-numbing. The widespread practice of rape against Muslim women was more than a consequence of war, it was an instrument of war with the intent of destroying the cultural fabric of a targeted group. This experience brought home to me a truism in international and national conflict: women suffer disproportionately to the atrocities committed against civilians. (excerpt)