An Investigation into the Struggle to Center Gender-Based Violence Policy in Refugee Settings

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Jennifer Bezirium


Despite decades of research and policymaking on how to address gender-based violence in times of emergency, humanitarian responses continue to neglect the implementation of international standards set forth by international Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), creating a large gap between recommended policy and policy implementation. This article draws on fieldwork undertaken at a refugee camp in Greece to interrogate and problematize the persistence of gender inequality in NGO operations. Its empirical findings demonstrate that NGOs are themselves embedded within, and complicit in perpetuating, the patriarchal social systems and structures that support gender-based violence in the first place. At the core of the gap between policy research and implementation is the persistence of patriarchy as a systematic structure of gender inequality, which obstructs gender awareness among workers and creates resistance to attempts to center and embed GBV standards in organizational programming and coordination efforts.

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Bezirium, J. (2020). An Investigation into the Struggle to Center Gender-Based Violence Policy in Refugee Settings. Journal of Human Rights and Peace Studies, 6(2), 227–254. Retrieved from
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