A UNAMID officer assists women refugees in Zam Zam camp for IDPs near El Fasher, North Darfur, June 26, 2014. (UN Photo/Albert González Farran)
Mass displacement has become a significant feature of recent conflicts, as the number of people forced to flee their homes has passed 50 million worldwide, a level not seen since World War II. This is one of the reasons why the UN Security Council will focus on women refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) during its annual open debate on women, peace, and security on October 28, according to Elizabeth Cafferty, senior advocacy officer at the Women's Refugee Commission.
“In emergencies, we continue to hear the excuse that we can't stop to think about people's specific needs, and that usually means women and girls lose out,” Ms. Cafferty said in an interview in New York on October 21. “What might surprise some people is that women and girls still have huge challenges accessing the most basic services: healthcare, schools, making meals for their families at night, finding ways to cook the food that they are given.”