When women and girls have equitable access to and control over resources, and are able to meaningfully participate in and influence decision making processes, they are rendered less vulnerable to sexual exploitation and negative coping strategies, such as child marriage or forced labour. Equitable access to cash assistance also has the potential to facilitate a genuine and positive transformation in discriminatory gender relations, roles and attitudes.
Examples of how cash assistance contributes to protection and gender equality:
- Promotes gender equality by providing an opportunity to adapt the frequency, amounts, mechanisms and means of registration for cash transfers to the diverse and specific needs of women, men, boys and girls.
- Strengthens local economies, benefiting both the displaced population and the host community. The provision of cash can influence market demand for goods and services to better respond to the specific needs of women and girls.
- Promotes self-reliance by assisting women and men entrepreneurs, including those facing multiple forms of discrimination (such as on the basis of disability, sexual orientation or gender identity), to begin, rebuild or expand their livelihoods capacity, thereby improving chances of recovery, independence and resilience.
- Facilitates a shift in gender relations, roles and attitudes by making women the primary beneficiaries of cash assistance where possible, thereby contributing towards improved health and nutrition, education and other protection outcomes for all members of the household.
UNHCR and Gender
Gender is an important feature because ascribed gender roles and societal norms determine the barriers individuals may face or the privileges they may enjoy, whether it be in the area of protection, assistance or solutions.
UNHCR has been actively promoting gender equality for decades and continues to be cognizant that it is fundamental to the well-being and rights of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, returnees and stateless persons.
Although the focus of gender equality is often on women and girls, gender inequality can also impact some men and boys, and LGBTI persons of concern negatively. Thus it is vital to promote equal rights, well-being and equitable access to services and assistance for all persons of concern in a manner that recognises differences amongst them, and resultant inequalities and discrimination, and responds in a manner that is informed by these realities.
Where your money goes*.
HK$93 out of every HK$100 donated goes directly to refugee families.
Cash assistance restores a sense of normalcy and independence allowing
families to choose where they spend their money.
- UNHCR Fact Sheet on Cash-Based Assistance 2018
- Policy on Cash-Based Interventions
- UNHCR Strategy for the Institutionalisation of Cash-Based Interventions 2016-2020
- UNHCR Operational Guidelines for Cash-Based Interventions in Displacement Settings
- Basic Needs Approach in the Refugee Response
- Statement from the Principals of OCHA, UNHCR, WFP and UNICEF on Cash Assistance