Displacement and WPS in the Middle East

in collaboration with the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security

Principal Investigator: Dr Zeynep Kaya
Duration: March 2017–December 2018
Supported by: LSE KEI Fund

(CC BY 2.0)

This project focuses on the gendered dimensions of conflict-related displacement in the Middle East, with a particular focus on displaced women. It seeks to contribute to developing the implementation of the WPS agenda in conflict-related situations. Dr Kaya’s 2016 policy report on WPS in Iraq pointed to the lack of awareness and understanding of the WPS frameworks and of the issues women experience due to conflict, which widens the gap between policy and implementation. This is particularly the case in the responses to conflict-related displacement. Political actors consider conflict-related displacement as a short-term issue, therefore focusing on humanitarian response and the provision of relief rather than issues with long-term implications such as settlement, return, education, health, livelihood, and revision of the legal system and regulations. 

Project Aims

The project aims to make a positive impact on displaced peoples’ lives in the Middle East through bridging the gap between policy frames and implementation. It aims to generate impact through engaging non-academic audiences with academic research. It will achieve this by directly engaging with relevant policymakers, local and international civil society organisations and UN agencies. It will capture the importance of addressing the gendered dimensions of conflict-related displacement and of the responses to this issue at the civil society, local government and international levels.

Incorporation of the issue of displacement into the WPS agenda can improve strategies regarding the protection of women, prevention of harm, enabling recovery and relief during and after conflict-related displacement, and can also enable the participation of displaced women in decision-making, conflict resolution and peace-building. The absence of women and the lack of gender perspectives in decision-making processes in relation to short- and long-term responses to displacement hinder women from having a meaningful impact on the design of the provisions for protection and development of support systems. This occurs despite the fact that more women than men are affected by conflict-related displacement and the impact of displacement on women is disproportionate due to gendered vulnerabilities.

Project Activities

  • A workshop in Jordan on 26-27 September brought together relevant stakeholders including regional government officials, UK government officials, local and international civil society organisations and academics and experts with experience of developing National Action Plans for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in different countries in the Middle East including Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen. Read the report of the workshop here.
  • A policy development initiative – breakout sessions with a group of experts and stakeholders to: assess current and future efforts on WPS; develop specific recommendations for the inclusion of the displacement issue into National Action Plans; and assess existing Plans in order to inform and contribute to the ongoing implementation and revision processes.

The project activities will culminate in a policy report that will draw on the discussions from the workshop and breakout sessions. The report will be disseminated to relevant stakeholders and will be made available via LSE Middle East Centre and LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security's websites.

Principal Investigator


Zeynep Kaya

Zeynep is Research Fellow at the LSE Middle East Centre and Research Officer at the LSE Centre for Women, Peace and Security. 



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