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Carreer development for women in Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa

Research, empowerment, networking, counselling

Scientific base of the project activities

Against the backdrop of ongoing protests, discussions and policy developments concerning sexual violence, sexism, and racism triggered by several severe scandals in the humanitarian sector, the project team is conducting two studies that will shed light on the situation of West African women in humanitarian assistance and will feed into the course activities to help develop retaliatory actions as specially tailored training content.

All project activities will be informed by

  • surveying of human resource needs of organisations in the field of humanitarian assistance in West Africa
  • studying the drivers and impediments for women from West Africa to enter professional humanitarian assistance in international contexts
  • preparing an accompanying conflict sensitive gender analysis

The survey on the human resource needs among organisations in humanitarian assistance in West Africa queries training needs for humanitarian personnel and focuses specifically on obstacles to employment and career development of women from West African countries in international and national NGOs and disaster management agencies. It will identify advancement programmes (e.g., on women’s empowerment, diversity mainstreaming or transformation of “toxic” stereotype masculinities), policies against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) at the workplace and complaint mechanisms for cases of sexual harassment as well as measures against racism and ethnic preferential recruitment. Part of the findings gained in the institutions will feed into the study on the drivers and impediments for women from West Africa entering or developing a professional career in humanitarian assistance in an international context. For the study female aid workers at different hierarchical levels and female graduates of the HAWA course are interviewed.

Through the studies, key stakeholders (e.g., at the ECOWAS) can be more easily approached and engaged to make use of the recommendations.

In Cooperation with