Women's Refugee Commission

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Women-s-refugee-commission
Headquarters Location: New York, NY
Founded: 1989


Mission: The Women's Refugee Commission advocates for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, children and young people, including those seeking asylum—bringing about lasting, measurable change.


Tags: violence against women, armed conflict, conflict resolution, peacekeeping, peace-building, post-conflict, sexual violence, gender-based violence, reproductive health, refugees, internally displaced women, children, young people, 2011


Women-s-refugee-commission
Story: As a founding member of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, the Women’s Refugee Commission was instrumental in making SCR 1325 a reality. Over the past 11 years, we have continued to push for full implementation of… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Women's Refugee Commission supports female refugees in a variety of ways. They look to improve the lives of women refugees in specific, tangible ways. For example they ensure that bathrooms are located in safe conditions at refugee camps and that conditions are safe for women while collecting fuel. They also engage in research around creating safe conditions, opportunities for women to thrive, and more. One expert points out that Women's Refugee Commission has a deeply felt impact at a local level as well as globally.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Women-s-refugee-commission Sarah Costa. Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women's Refugee Commission, has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of women's rights, reproductive health, gender and youth development, as well as global philanthropy. Throughout her career, she has worked in partnership with those closest to the issues, from government officials to local women’s organizations. Before joining the Women's Refugee Commission,… See full bio.


Transparency Information
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Financial Data


From the Nonprofit
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Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT wrcommission.org
Phone:
212-551-3115
Facebook:
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Address:
122 East 42nd Street,
 
New York, NY 10168 , USA
Twitter:
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Women-s-refugee-commission Story: As a founding member of the NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security, the Women’s Refugee Commission was instrumental in making SCR 1325 a reality. Over the past 11 years, we have continued to push for full implementation of the resolution, as well as a broadening of the resolution’s impact. We work to hold UN member countries responsible for implementing the resolution and to ensure that refugees and internally displaced women and girls are given a voice in the peace process. Despite the achievements seen to date, progress by the international community has been ad hoc and often limited to policy documents rather than lived reality on the ground. Read “UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security: High Hopes, Unmet Expectations,” our reflections on the 10th anniversary of SCR 1325, to learn more. This year’s debate is covered in our blog post “An Inside Look at Women, Peace and Security.” For detailed recommendations on actions the Security Council could take right now, read the NGO Working Group’s November 2011 Monthly Action Points. As Shreen Abdul Saroor, a 2008 Women's Refugee Commission Voices of Courage Award recipient directly affected by war in her home country of Sri Lanka, said, “During [the] 2002 peace process in Sri Lanka there was not a single woman at the main negotiating table and if…there will be a peace process in my country we need to have 50 percent women at the main table...With the help of the Women’s Refugee Commission and other dedicated organizations I have great hope that these ambitions could be achieved.” The Women's Refugee Commission is working to ensure that the UN and its members fully support and recognize the work of women like Shreen, who are the key to putting their communities and countries back on the path to peace and security.

Expert Reviews of Women's Refugee Commission

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Women's Refugee Commission supports female refugees in a variety of ways. They look to improve the lives of women refugees in specific, tangible ways. For example they ensure that bathrooms are located in safe conditions at refugee camps and that conditions are safe for women while collecting fuel. They also engage in research around creating safe conditions, opportunities for women to thrive, and more. One expert points out that Women's Refugee Commission has a deeply felt impact at a local level as well as globally.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Experts agree that Women's Refugee Commission has strong leadership at its core and the organization's work has helped it to gain an excellent reputation among UN agencies and US Government Agencies. Because of their reputation, they have a good deal of influence in the global policy arena; then they release reports, policy makers take notice. The organization also is rooted in commitment to its mission and deep knowledge in the subject area.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Experts agree that Women's Refugee Commission could improve its relationships. One expert suggests that they partner more with complementary organizations. Another suggests that WRC create stronger ties to NGO's so that it can lend support. WRC could also improve by increasing its advocacy efforts both in the US and internationally.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Support for Women Refugees

N
WRC has over the years been highly influential in making changes to policies affecting refugee women and girls that aim to reduce violence against them. For example, ensuring that in camps latrines are close to the people and there is good lighting, etc. Another significant impact is the policy to have food rations be given to women in camps. to ensure the food gets to the family, rather than being sold.

Global and Local Impact

N
They have an excellent ability to reach local organizations involving women while staying connected to the international policy level.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Influence

N
Sarah Costa is a terrific leader and WRC is a recognized leader particularly among UN and US Government Agencies. When WRC puts out a report, policy decision makers in the US and abroad read them and pay attention.

Deep Knowledge

N
They have a commitment to women and children and deep technical knowledge of supporting refugee women and children.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Improve Partnerships

N
WRC could partner more.
N
I would suggest creating stronger links to operational NGOs to support them.


Leadership

Women-s-refugee-commission
Sarah Costa
Executive Director
Sarah Costa, executive director of the Women's Refugee Commission, has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of women's rights, reproductive health, gender and youth development, as well as global philanthropy. Throughout her career, she has worked in partnership with those closest to the issues, from government officials to local women’s organizations. Before joining the Women's Refugee Commission, Sarah was regional director of the Global Fund for Women, a grantmaking organization that supports women’s rights organizations working on economic security, health, education and leadership. She established the organization’s New York office and represented the organization in programmatic and fundraising activities on the East Coast. From 1994 to 2006, she worked as a program officer for the Ford Foundation in Brazil and New York, developing and managing international and national programs on gender, sexuality and reproductive health, women’s rights, HIV/AIDS and health policy. She was Professor of Women’s Health at the National School of Public Health, Brazil from 1980 to 1994, where she taught and conducted research on women's health policy and social development. Sarah was very active in the women's movement in Brazil, where she was a member of the Advisory Committee to the National Council on Women's Rights, served on the boards of several women's organizations and was a Technical Advisor on Women's Health to the State Government of Rio de Janeiro. She currently serves on the executive committee of the board of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development and the advisory board of the National Centers on Sexuality at San Francisco State University. Sarah was born and raised in England, where she earned a Master's Degree in Demography from London University and a Ph.D. in Social Medicine from Oxford University. She has published numerous papers and articles on women's health and reproductive rights in both English and Portuguese.

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