FOREWORD FROM THE HONOURABLE MARIE-CLAUDE BIBEAU, MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND LA FRANCOPHONIE, GOVERNMENT OF CANADA, September 2018
While conflicts between states have declined dramatically in past years, conflicts within states – frequently involving non-state actors – are on the rise. The result is human displacement, leaving millions of people with few opportunities, limited access to services and an uncertain future.
It is well known that humanitarian crises exacerbate gender inequalities, and emergencies are experienced differently by women, men, girls and boys. Women and girls shoulder a heavier burden of care for both families and the community at large.
They are also at higher risk for abuse, exploitation and violence – including sexual violence – with little protection and limited legal recourse.
As part of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, we have committed to developing and implementing our international assistance in ways that improve gender equality and empower women and girls. We believe that this is the best way to eradicate poverty and drive progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Canada recognises the important role that cash-based assistance can play in humanitarian response. It is an effective and dignified way for crisis-affected families to meet their most basic needs in contexts where the local markets continue to function. Canada continues to advocate for the routine use of cash, and encourages its partners to consider cash assistance when and where appropriate, including by carrying out a gender analysis of any proposed cash activities.
However, the role and impact of cash based assistance on gender equality and women’s empowerment is still not well understood. There is an urgent need to address this blind spot, share and apply what we know about the relationship between gender and cash based assistance, and find ways to fill the gaps in our understanding.
Canada is pleased to have supported this volume of collected research papers that are the outcome of CaLP’s Gender Symposium that was held in Nairobi, Kenya on February 21, 2018. This research represents a critical early step to building our understanding of how to deliver humanitarian assistance that is inclusive and effective. I encourage all humanitarian actors to take stock of the learning which is gathered here, apply it and share new learning so that evidence gaps are closed and humanitarian action is made more responsive to the needs of all populations. I look forward to seeing the addition of new research as the collection grows, and with it, our shared understanding.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of International Development and La Francophonie,
Government of Canada