The 2019 international conference on ‘Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises’ was held in Oslo 23-24 May. The Conference was hosted by the governments of Norway, Iraq, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, the United Nations entities OCHA and UNFPA, and the ICRC. Among the attendees were a broad range of civil society organizations and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege. In connection with the Conference, the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies (NCHS) hosted a meeting with UN Resident Coordinator Edward Kallon, and a workshop for local civil society organizations working to end sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator Nigeria
Wednesday 22 May, the NCHS organized a meeting with the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon. The purpose of the meeting was for the Resident Coordinator to present challenges in his work relating to violence and humanitarian need in Nigeria, followed by a conversation on how future research may contribute in shedding light on these issues and disseminating information about the country and the multidimensional challenges it faces. SGBV were amongst the issues discussed in detail. In attendance were also colleagues from the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator, UN OCHA Nigeria, the Norwegian MFA, the Norwegian Red Cross, NUPI and PRIO.
Workshop on Research, Proposal Development and Advocacy Skill-share
Wednesday 22 May, the NCHS in cooperation with CARE, GBV AoR, PARG, UN OCHA, COFEM and VOICE hosted a Research, Proposal Development & Advocacy Skill-share Workshop for local partners from civil society. Women’s groups and civil society organizations working on sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian settings showed overwhelming enthusiasm and commitment to making the Oslo conference a success. By April 2019, more than 1,200 applications were received by conference organizers, to support 150 funded places for women civil society leaders to attend the civil society day of the conference on 23 May. To ensure the success of their participation at the conference, women’s groups and local partners must be a visible and heard presence, to represent the issues and concerns of communities at local and country-level. They must also have access to the financial support raised at the Oslo conference to fund their work in preventing and responding to SGBV at community level. Within this context, the workshop was organized with the objective to provide technical support to local partners for proposal development and advocacy.
During the workshop, research professor Kristin Bergtora Sandvik (PRIO & UiO) and Director of the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, presented recent research on the topic, followed by a discussion on how women’s organizations can benefit from research initiatives. Following, James Kunjumen from UN OCHA led a proposal development workshop, and the workshop ended with an advocacy skill-share led by GBV AoR, PARG and COFEM.