9.9.1 Case Study: CARE Advocacy and the Gender Reference Group

In 2021, the IASC reviewed its strategic priorities, which it does every two years. CARE and others were alarmed to see that the IASC ignored findings from the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluation on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Further, the IASC wanted to disassociate the IASC Gender Reference Group (which CARE is a member of) from the IASC structure. CARE, with the support of ICVA and its members, led an action to champion Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls in humanitarian action and succeeded in elevating it as a priority area (IASC Strategic Priorities, 2022-2023), and ensuring the IASC associated Gender Reference Group (GRG) would not be phased out by end 2021 but, instead, be extended as an IASC entity until the end of 2022. The GRG has now formed a small core group, including CARE, to revisit its mandate, composition and approach to more effectively drive accountability on GEEWG in the humanitarian system and to propose ways of working that will hopefully ensure continuity beyond 2023. This advocacy included a targeted joint letter by NGO gender champions to the IASC Principals (main decision makers), coalition building and influencing through speaking to influential individuals in UN agencies.