IOM Reports on Gender-Based Needs of Displaced Iraqis

Gender and Migration, Internally Displaced Persons

Iraq - IOM Iraq’s recently released report “A Gendered Perspective: Safety, Dignity and Privacy of Camp and Camp-like Settings in Iraq,” which provides insight into the situation of displaced Iraqis and the differentiated impact of displacement on women, girls, men and boys.

The report highlights gender considerations for humanitarian actors and identifies actions to address needs and improve living conditions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially with regard to security and privacy.

The report is based on an assessment conducted with internally displaced men and women in camps and camp-like settings across all 18 governorates of Iraq; the assessment included a questionnaire and focus group discussions. 

According to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the ongoing conflict has displaced more than 3.3 million Iraqis within the country; approximately 17 percent (more than 550,000 individuals) are living in inadequate shelter arrangements, including informal settlements, religious buildings, schools and unfinished or abandoned buildings. These arrangements pose several safety, dignity and privacy concerns, including a lack of segregated latrines, an absence of doors on homes and locks for showers and latrines.

Due to safety concerns, female IDPs often face restrictions on their movement and ability to independently access public spaces, services and goods. Recommendations identified include bringing distributions closer to IDP communities and increasing female representation in IDP camp committees; this report found that more than 90 percent of the assessed camp committees lacked female representation.”

A displaced Iraqi woman living in Wassit Governorate said: “Fear for my wellbeing and lack of privacy here affects me psychologically. Everybody needs privacy, but we do not have any. We are all living together, and this makes me feel anxious and also creates tensions between my husband and me. I know there is no solution under these hard circumstances, but I can’t get over it because we are human beings and we have rights.”

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Forced to flee their homes and leave their belongings and livelihoods behind, displaced Iraqis are exposed to many vulnerabilities. To enable a more targeted and meaningful humanitarian response, it is vital to understand their gender-specific needs. IOM will continue to tailor its humanitarian response to assist the most vulnerable, in coordination with the UN Humanitarian Country Team, humanitarian partners, government authorities and donors.”

Under IOM Iraq’s Community Revitalization Programme, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and with support from the DTM, this report intends to contribute to a more holistic understanding of protection needs in displacement sites.

Since 2014, through global initiatives supported by several donors including PRM, IOM globally has enhanced data collection to include protection indicators. The DTM in Iraq aims to share protection concerns and risks to support a gender considerate response and evidence-based programing.

The report, “A Gendered Perspective: Safety, Dignity and Privacy of Camp and Camp-like Settings in Iraq” is available on the IOM Iraq website at:

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq. Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: or Aliyah Sarkar, Email: