More than 40 leading international agencies and women’s rights organizations have recently called on G7 Foreign Ministers to act to uphold the rights of women and girls in emergencies. Read their full statement below (in link).
“As foreign ministers discuss [at the G7] how to respond to the increasing number of emergencies around the world, it’s vital they take into account the experiences of women and girls who are too often forgotten,” said Caroline Kende-Robb, secretary general of CARE International.
An estimated 67 million women and girls are in need of humanitarian assistance. Impacted by conflict, violence and natural disasters, women and girls in emergencies are at heightened risk of gender-based violence and trafficking, unintended pregnancy, maternal morbidity and mortality, unsafe abortions, and child, early and forced marriage.
Despite the immediate, long-term and largely preventable impacts of these realities, the unique needs, priorities and capacities of women and girls are not treated with the same urgency as shelter, water and food aid in emergency response and recovery efforts, and opportunities to transform unequal gender relations and shift harmful gender norms are being missed.
In the year of the 25th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, and as the world prepares to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th Anniversary of Security Council Resolution 1325, it is high-time that the international community rally together to uphold women’s and girls’ rights where they are furthest behind: in conflict and emergency settings.
A more systematic approach for ensuring that humanitarian action responds to women’s and girls’ rights and needs is within reach.
The full statement includes recommendations in the areas of:
- Women’s and girl’s voice and leadership
- Equitable access to sexual and reproductive health services
- Prevention and response to gender-based violence
- Preventing sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse
- Supporting women’s economic empowerment