"I aim at specialising in sexual and gender based-violence prevention and response"

"I aim at specialising in sexual and gender based-violence prevention and response"

Margot shares her story
  • Margot Dupé ©Margot DupéMargot Dupé ©Margot Dupé

Margot is a Master's student at the Sciences Po School of International Affairs. She studies Human Rights and Humanitarian Action and is interning at the UN Refugee Agency, under the Resettlement Officer. Simultaneously, she promotes gender equality: during the G7 in Paris in 2019, she took part in the Women 7, a G7 Summit engagement group advocating for gender equality.

In 2019, you joined the Women 7 ENGAGEMENT GROUP. How was it like?

Joining the Women 7 engagement group was a learning experience in terms of exposure: through the meetings I attended, I was privy to the feminist NGOs’ strategies to advocate the heads of states to form better gender equality policies, and to keep leaders accountable.

The Women 7 summit was so inspiring! It gathered women and men of all ages, and from all backgrounds who promote gender-equality in a myriad of ways. Assembling of so many extraordinary advocates in one room was thrilling. It felt historical. It was a strong message to politicians: no more "langue de bois", we expect real change, and we expect it now.

The members of the Gender Equality Advisory Council were also there to present the first steps of their work to identify 79 worldwide good practices in gender equality in the following areas: violences, economic empowerment, education and health and discriminations. Meeting with Katja Iversen, the head of Women Deliver and one of my role model in terms of gender equality leadership, was extraordinary!

I can only dream to be part this committee one day… or better yet, for the world to advance in such a way that those committees are no longer necessary for gender equality to be the default mode of any functioning state.

Why did you choose to pursue a Master's degree in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action at Sciences Po?

When I applied to Sciences Po after high school, my mind was already set on the Human Rights and Humanitarian Action Master’s degree. Back then, I had the ambition of becoming a Human Rights lawyer. With Amal Alamuddin (Clooney)’s amazing work in mind, I intended on becoming a legal practitioner and taking on cases to defend international human rights law. Moreover, due to the publicising of humanitarian scandals in some major NGOs, I had developed a somewhat negative and tainted idea of what a humanitarian worker does, and I wanted to distance myself from this label.

However, throughout my studies and the various engagements I took, I met incredible humanitarian experts who upheld and act in the most ethical manners. I realised that, like in any field, the humanitarian sector is constantly evolving. We are learning from past mistakes and continuously improving standards. Moreover, our generation will also get involved and design the humanitarian sector according to our values and standards, by learning from the best and the worse of what had been done before us.

Sciences Po’s Bachelor degree had been a great background to understand how the world functions (history, economics, political science,…). This Master has rendered concrete my learning, and enabled me to be exposed to the humanitarian sector beyond books and theory. I was extremely lucky to be surrounded and supported by wonderful peers, top-notch teachers, and to be involved in incredible associations, all of which taught me so much in so many different ways! I have not regretted choosing this Master for one second.

In 2020, you will graduate. what are your plans and ambitions for the future?

As an intersectional feminist, I can only wish that my career engagement will reflect this set of values.

While at the UNHCR, I was part of the protection unit, which cares for refugees and asylum seekers facing various threats and insecurities. As a caseworker, I interviewed persons of concerns and referred them based on their specific needs. For instance, one of my daily tasks was to refer persons of concerns who are SBGV [sexual and gender based violence] survivors for psychosocial counselling and to our legal partners. I also counsel highly threatened women and girls regarding their case status when going to NGOs’ safehouses.

This is exactly the kind of work I wish to pursue after graduating : continue working with survivors in the migration sector. I am interested in gender mainstreaming in the humanitarian field and I aim at specialising in SGBV prevention and response, either in NGOs or within International Organisations. However, I would like to move to the emergency sector such as working in camp settings or conflict zones.

My career path is just starting, and although I already know what I want to do, I have a lot to learn and an expertise to build, in order to become the best humanitarian worker I can be in this sector.

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