Engagement, Participation and Decision-Making by Women-Led Organizations in Humanitarian Action

Publication language
Date published
29 Mar 2024
Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Accountability and Participation, Engaging with affected populations, Gender, humanitarian action, Leadership and Decisionmaking

There is a lack of consistent reference to, consultation with, and dedicated funding for the meaningful engage­ment of formal or informal local women-led groups, networks, organizations, movements or initiatives, which contributes to rendering these groups invisible or under-prioritized, and therefore more marginalized in humani­tarian action. Various definitions of local women’s organizations, local women-led organizations, or local women’s rights organizations are in use, making tracking of their impact, participation and leadership in decision-making, and access to funding challenging. This is an impediment to the accurate monitoring of support to and accountability for crisis-affected women and girls. 

This document seeks to adopt a coherent definition of local women-led organizations (WLOs). A standard, non-normative definition of local WLOs for use by humanitarian actors will aid the meaningful engagement, participation and decision making of women and girls in humanitarian response, whilst also enabling the IASC and humanitarian system and other relevant organizations to track funding to the organizations that represent them. This in turn supports the implementation of the Account­ability to Affected People (AAP) principle and the localization agenda.