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The creation of ‘friendly spaces’ for women and girls has been a key strategy in the protection and empowerment of women and girls in South Sudan since conflict re-erupted in the country in December 2013. This document, developed by HealthNetTPO on behalf of UNICEF South Sudan, provides guidance on the aims of these spaces, and how they can best be established and managed in the South Sudan context. The current version of the document, completed in mid-2016, will serve as a working document to be piloted later in 2017. The content will be continually revisited for the first year to identify any additions and / or modifications that may be needed.


The methodology for drawing the guidelines consisted of a desk review of reports and guidance from other humanitarian contexts as well as field-based data collection in South Sudan. This also included discussions with managers and staff of organizations involved in the protection and empowerment of women in South Sudan. It particularly focused on managers and staff who manage women-friendly spaces and similar facilities in Juba (Central Equatoria State), Akobo (Jonglei State) and Malakal (Upper Nile State). The guidance is also based on discussions with women and adolescent girls in Akobo and Malakal, plus representatives of male and female leadership in those locations, and groups of male community members. The guidelines are not meant to be rigid or prescriptive, but rather to provide some broad guidance which is relevant to the South Sudan context.


  • To assist collaboration among agencies by building a consensus around the key aims, functions and guiding principles for Women and Girls Friendly Spaces​ (WGFS).
  • To strengthen existing WGFS and provide a starting point for organizations looking to establish such services for the first time in South Sudan.


Prevention and promotion
Training, education and capacity building
Depression/anxiety/stress-related disorders
Children and adolescents
Humanitarian and conflict health
Non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer, diabetes, stroke)
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