A feminist approach to safe spaces for women and girls in humanitarian response

The creation and development of safe spaces for women and girls in emergencies and protracted crises has now become a key mechanism in humanitarian response. However, how a safe space is defined, what it represents, how it is managed and whether it promotes gender-transformative change could make all the difference to the lives of women and girls at risk of violence and abuse.


Executive summary

This is an analysis of safe spaces for women and girls within the context of humanitarian emergency response, showing why they’re important and demonstrating how they can achieve transformative change. We outline ActionAid’s women-led approach to safe spaces, how to establish them, and how to manage the risks involved, with case studies from Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh with Rohingya women and girls, and Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.


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