Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Thomas G. Weiss

Subject Categories

Emergency and Disaster Management | Gender and Sexuality | Human Rights Law | International Humanitarian Law | Law and Gender | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Women's Studies


Refugees, Humanitarian, Women's Leadership, Jordan, Human Rights, Humanitarian Crisis


While both men and women are affected by conflicts and humanitarian crises, 80 percent of the world’s refugees and internally displaced persons are women and children, indicating that women experience conflict and war differently. The emphasis on women’s vulnerability during conflicts and humanitarian crises leads to their exclusion from leadership roles and decision-making on humanitarian programs and issues that impact them. Though women experience numerous socio-cultural barriers to exercising leadership in humanitarian settings, they have taken on important roles in emergency response and in refugee camps. This paper traces the progress of UN and humanitarian agencies recognition and development of gender-sensitive response and their implementation. Next, it details barriers to women’s leadership in humanitarian settings and future strategies for overcoming them. Looking at the case of women in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan, the UN Women run Oasis Centre provides a model for supporting women’s needs while also encouraging participation and leadership.