EmpowHERment! Economic empowerment of refugee women: Unleash potential – transform societies

Lama Ahmad © GIZ/C. Cannizzo

(Berlin, March 11, 16:30 – 18:30 o’clock)

Flight and displacement cannot just increase gender-specific risks for women, but also open up new room for maneuver: in fragile contexts, gender relations can be renegotiated and tasks can be redistributed. The economic empowerment of refugee women can change societies in the long run. How this can succeed and what contribution development cooperation can make was discussed on 11th March 2019 at an event that was organized by GIZ and the International Rescue Committee.

Moderation: Dr. Merjam Wakili

Greeting: Karin Kortmann, Director of GIZ representation Berlin

Opening: Joachim Fritz, Director of Division Governance and Conflikt, GIZ

Keynote: Lama Ahmad, Representative of „Syrian Feminist Lobby“ in Germany, former syrian diplomat

Panel discussion with contributions from:

  • Dr. Silvia Morgenroth, Head of Division “Tackling the root causes of displacement, Partnership for Prospects” in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development,
  • Ralph Achenbach, Manager and Country Director IRC Germany
  • Paladia Ziss, Expert in the field of Economic Empowerment of Women and Displacement; former GIZ-staff in the Cluster “Support to Refugees and Host Communities” and Gender Focal Point of GIZ Country Office Turkey
  • Dr. Ulrike Krause, Junior-Professor For Displacement and Refugee Research at the Institute for Migration Research and Intercultural Studies of the University of Osnabrück

Farewell: Johanna Below da Cunha, Desk Officer at Division “Human rights, gender equality, inclusion of persons with disabilities” in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Panel discussion, © GIZ/C. Cannizzo

It was highlighted that governments need to create legal and political environments that provide refugee women with safe access to the labor market. In addition to the abolition of discriminatory laws, this includes safe transportation and affordable childcare.

Ralph Achenbach presented the results of a new IRC study, which deals with the economic empowerment of women in a crisis context. The economic empowerment of refugee women should become a declared goal in economic development strategies. Donor countries have an important role to play: the economic programs they finance need to increase the economic empowerment of women, according to the study.

Sector Program ‘Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Rights and Sector Program ‘Forced Displacement’ in cooperation with the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Further information:

Tackling the root causes of displacement, stabilising host regions, supporting refugees, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

Women, Peace and Security, Federal Foreign Office of Germany

Choices, chances and safety in crisis: a model for women’s economic empowerment. IRC Report

Contact Details

Name: Anne von Au
Email: Anne.Au@giz.de
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