International Rescue Committee International Women’s Day

The International Rescue Committee hosted an event for International Women’s Day in Parliament to raise awareness for and to stand with women leading in crises. Women are best positioned to lead during crises and prevent gender-based violence but too often their organisations are shut out of the humanitarian response. 

Women are disproportionately affected by conflict and crises. When these conflict and crises hit, organisations led by women themselves, working locally and focused on women’s rights, are often the first and best line of defence. They are best-placed to understand the needs of women and girls; respond first to humanitarian crises; centre survivors in their work; and, because they are rooted in communities and local context, can drive the patient, long-term progress needed to achieve gender equality. 

Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that it is women’s rights organisations who are pivotal to long-lasting and sustainable change, they remain overlooked and underfunded.

With the publication of its Women and Girls Strategy, now is the time for the UK to stand with women leading in crisis. Their three-point plan is:

  1. Effective Investment – to tackle the systemic funding barriers facing women leading crises. 
  2. Enabling Leadership – to create space and decision-making roles for women leading in crises.
  3. Equitable Partnership – to establish partnerships based on equity, trust, and accountability. 

I am pictured with Virendra Sharma MP and Sarah Champion MP and I signed the board saying “I stand with women leading in crises.”