Gender and humanitarian diplomacy

Webinar Friday 28 October from 2:00PM CEST

This webinar was held via Zoom on Friday 28 October from 2:00PM Norway time and 5:30PM India time.

This online seminar, jointly organised by the Xavier School of Management (XLRI)  Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusive Leadership (CGEIL) and the Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies, explores the role of gender in humanitarian diplomacy through the lens of economy and international humanitarian law.

You can now view a recording of the discussion here.

More than two decades after the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000), this seminar reflects on the interaction between manifestations of gendered constructs and humanitarian policy and practice.

The seminar brings together experts from diverse backgrounds within the UN and the broader humanitarian community. They present a landscape of gender norms governing the field of humanitarian action, key achievements that set the tone for future strategies and where development goals fall behind. We discuss how gender as a social attribute impacts opportunities and limitations for humanitarian practitioners, how systematic social and cultural barriers may be overcome, and avenues to invest in building the capacity of women’s participation and leadership within the humanitarian practice.


Dr. Salla Turunen (Norwegian Centre for Humanitarian Studies)

“Gendered humanitarian diplomats at the United Nations”

Dr. Salla Turunen is an International Relations expert with specialisation in gender, humanitarian diplomacy and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda. As a practitioner with the United Nations, her work experiences cover country, regional and Headquarter levels of the organisation. Latest as the Head of WPS in UN Women South Sudan Country Office, she led large-scale WPS interventions in a fragile state context.

As a researcher, Salla’s research investigates the articulation of gender, humanitarian diplomacy and negotiations in complex emergencies with the aim of informing both academic debates and humanitarian professionals themselves. 

Dr. Swarna Rajagopalan (Writer, Political Analyst, Social Entrepreneur)

“Gender, humanitarian crisis and international relations”

Dr. Swarna Rajagopalan is an internationally acclaimed author, writer, and political analyst on women, peace, justice, and security based in India. Dr. Rajagopalan received her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1998); an M.A. in International Relations from Syracuse University (1985). She is a founding member of the Women’s Regional Network and the founding trustee of The Prajnya Trust, which is building a centre for policy research, advocacy, and networking in the areas of peace, justice and security.

The author of several books on women, gender, and peace, and security issues, Dr. Rajagopalan is presently a Visiting Professor of Politics at Krea University. She has previously taught at James Madison College, Michigan State University; Yale University; the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; National Management School, and Sophia College, Mumbai.