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Ending global poverty begins with women’s rights

Gender in Emergencies

Gender in
Emergencies

When disaster strikes, women are hit the hardest.

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

Natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and droughts, as well as conflict and war, put millions in urgent need of clean water, food and shelter. These disasters 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 to restoring womens' livelihoods, health, safety and leadership. Women are often left out of critical decisions that affect them, like how food, water, and medicine are distributed​, and even where to build the toilets.​ It's time to change that.

Why gender in emergencies?

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From 2017 to 2018, Oxfam provided 22.3 million people with life-saving assistance.
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Refugee women are doubly vulnerable to sexual violence
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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.

Power

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.

Three steps you can take now

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Oxfam distributed hygiene kits in Sankhu. The kits contain a bucket for clean water, a bar of soap, oral rehydration salts, and towels, helping people to meet their basic sanitation needs. Oxfam also provided the community with emergency latrines to help prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases. In Sankhu, 980 houses collapsed when an 7.9 earthquake struck Nepal on April 2015. Photo Credit: Aubrey Wade / Oxfam

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Oxfam volunteers are sorting out hygiene kits before a distribution at the camp in Cox's Bazar. Oxfam is providing hygiene kits to refugees to maintain their hygiene and menstrual health. Photo Credit: Maruf

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