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Enhancing Protection of Women and Girls in Conflict and Post-conflict Environments

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Chapter Summary

The specific protection challenges that confront women and girls in recent conflict history, is very often linked to gender inequalities that they faced in society prior to the conflict, and which take on expanded proportions during the war. The most common threats to the physical protection of women in conflict environments include harassment, extortion, abductions, rape, forced and early marriage and forced prostitution that they endure at the hands of both armed fighters and other civilians. For over a decade now, there have been increasing calls to recognise and build on women's capacities to contribute to peace and security in conflict situations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have all adopted specific commitments or policies to facilitate better protection of women and girls. Investing in women's economic empowerment is thus an effective protection strategy in conflict and post-conflict environments, which holds both short and longer-term benefits.

Keywords: post-conflict environments; UNHCR; women's economic empowerment



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