The Women Leaders in Conflict and Health (WLCH) initiative is a newly formed group of aspiring and established experts working within the conflict and health domain in low, middle- and high-income countries. We are working together to build a sustainable platform to address significant challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership in the conflict and health sector. Women are disproportionately affected by armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies. Women are also increasingly at the forefront of improving health for conflict-affected populations through service delivery, education and capacity strengthening, advocacy and research. They have made important contributions to health system development, improving evidence and humanitarian interventions as well as in uncovering human rights abuses, highlighting the detrimental health outcomes of marginalized groups, and bringing vital knowledge and intervention gaps to global attention.
WLCH is a collective effort responding to the growing grass-roots demand from women based in conflict-affected regions around the world to improve health of conflict-affected populations. WLCH adopts a unique position within the broader global movements working towards gender equitable leadership; focusing on a sector that is under researched and under resourced given the complex political, security and research environment the sector is positioned in. Although there are significant barriers preventing more women from taking up leadership roles across the conflict and health sector, subsequently there is a wealth of opportunities. A core objective of this initiative is to develop a diverse network that effectively translates research into practice by working in close collaboration with academic partners, NGOs, humanitarian practitioners and policy makers.
Our objectives and activities include:
- Undertaking quantitative and qualitative research on women’s leadership in conflict and health
- Creating a network of researchers and practitioners working towards the advancement of women leaders in conflict affected areas
- Accelerating a global mentorship programme where senior female and male leaders’ mentor the next generation of women leaders in conflict and health
- Lecture and conference series hosted at King’s College London and other UK partners, across the MENA region and in other conflict-affected regions
- Profiles and Insights of Women Leaders in Conflict and Health