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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Protection: Helping people stay safe

Protection: Helping people stay safe

Everyone has a right to live safe from harm

The Situation

Humanitarian crises, and our responses to them, impact women and men differently.

In conflict and disasters, people have a wide range of urgent needs including basic necessities such as clean water, food and shelter, but also safety from the violence and abuse that can flourish in such situations. Risks faced by women, men, girls and boys in emergency situations are very different. Oxfam is known for our expertise in meeting different gender needs in a way that promotes equality.

Women and girls are almost always disproportionately affected after crises because of their subordinate position in nearly every society. They hold less power, have less access to decision making spaces, control fewer resources, have less education and are used as weapons of war. Women are often responsible for ensuring the safety of their fleeing families, and regularly risk their personal safety to collect water and food. Everyday tasks such as sleeping, using the latrine and getting water can become dangerous, as women and girls face increased risk of sexual and gender based violence.

Oxfam's protection work within emergency response, helps women  understand and demand their rights while advocating for government's to ensure that these rights are protected.


Where needed most

Varies between 1-3 years

Thanks to our Supporters: 
Government of Canada and the generous Canadian public

Government of Canada

Why Protection?

One person is driven from their home very two seconds
Of women in crisis settings have experienced some form of violence
65.6 million people were displaced by persecution, conflict, and humanitarian rights violations in 2016

What are we doing?

Protection Committees

Help communities develop emergency protection plans for when attacks take place, or training police forces in national law and human rights.


Ensure that humanitarian activities do not inadvertently create greater risks or exacerbate conflict. Facilitate safe access to aid like location of toilets or water points, timing and location of distributions, quality and easy access of information.


Hold relevant national or local authorities to account on protection of vulnerable populations and encourage peace building.

“Everyone has been affected by the conflict. Women and children ran to safety, but are they really safe? They are hungry, tired and exposed, and no one is looking out for them. They have no one to protect them. That’s where we come in. Our protection is not like the protection that the military is supposed to give you. We don’t use weapons. Our power is in our voice.”

member of Oxfam's protection team in Nyal, South Sudan

YOU can help keep people safe from harm.

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