Show simple item record

dc.contributor.authorHyndman, Jennifer
dc.identifier.citationJennifer Hyndman, “Managing Difference: Gender and Culture in Humanitarian Emergencies,� Gender, Place and Culture 5.3 (1998): 241-260.
dc.description.abstractThe United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has a mandate to respond to crises of human displacement on a global scale. The ways in which the organization conceives of gender and culture in this humanitarian context are problematic because they tend either to essentialize 'woman' and 'culture' in the planning process or to minimize the meaning and implications of these differences vis-a-vis gender policies which focus on integration. In this article, the discourse of 'UN humanism' is analyzed, noting a long-standing tension between culture as shared humanity and culture as a pivotal basis of difference. Drawing on current research relating t0 UNHCR's gender policies and on initiatives against violence towards refugee women in camps, the implications of overarching frameworks which attend to gender and cultural differences are discussed. Strategies to avoid authenticating or fixing categories of difference, on the one hand, and to avoid treating gender and culture as simply variables, on the other, are proposed in the context of emerging transnational feminist practices. Transnational approaches point to important interventions which may serve to unravel the dominant discourses of UN humanism and vulnerable groups that continue to organize UN refugee and humanitarian operations today.
dc.description.sponsorshipThe Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the International Development Research Centre (Ottawa), and York University's Centre for Refugee Studies (gender unit).
dc.publisherTaylor and Francis (Routledge)
dc.rightsThis is an electronic version of an article published in Gender, Place and Culture [Jennifer Hyndman, “Managing Difference: Gender and Culture in Humanitarian Emergencies,” Gender, Place and Culture 5.3 (1998): 241-260.] Gender, Place and Culture is available online at: The article is available at
dc.title“Managing Difference: Gender and Culture in Humanitarian Emergencies”en

Files in this item


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

All items in the YorkSpace institutional repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved except where explicitly noted.