Gender in

When disaster strikes, women are hit the hardest.

Every year, millions of people are displaced from their homes. Almost half are women.

Disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts, as well as conflict and war, and the current pandemic, put millions in urgent need of clean water, soap, food and shelter. The crises caused by these events also threaten women's safety and health in unique ways.

In emergencies, we meet urgent needs to save lives, but also look at long-term solutions for women's livelihoods, health, safety and leadership. Women are often left out of critical decisions that affect them, like how food, water, hygiene kits and medicine are distributed​, and even where to build the toilets.​ It's time to change that.

Why gender in emergencies?

From 2020 to 2021, Oxfam provided life-saving assistance to 25.7 million people.
Refugee women are doubly vulnerable to sexual violence
Women make up only 3% of UN military peacekeepers

In every emergency situation, women and children are exposed to higher risks and levels of vulnerability than any other group of people. In such situations, women’s rights organizations respond first before any other, become the safe zone for these suffering women and always strive to restore hope in their lives and give them a new meaning of life even after emergency situations. 

Ritah Nansereko 
Executive Director of African Women and Youth Action for Development (AWYAD) 

What is Oxfam Doing?

We work with local partners to listen to and meet the unique needs of women and girls.

Women-led Design

Designing programs for women, with women and women's rights organizations.


Putting power back in women's hands in times of crisis.

Local Knowledge

Taking direction from local humanitarians who tell us what is needed for the long term.

Amina's Story

Running from War

Amina is a refugee from South Sudan who fled conflict to Uganda.

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Three steps you can take now


Join Us

Join Oxfam Canada's email list to learn more us and find out how you can further our work around the world.



Start a fundraiser to support women during both natural and human-made disasters.

A woman with brown skin, brown eyes and dark hair is holding her young child and wearing a blue surgical mask and a red dress and headscarf.


Contribute to our fight for equality and protect women from natural and human-made disasters around the globe.

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