World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) 23-24 May, UN Women

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The Issue

Disasters kill more women than men, and hit women’s livelihoods hardest. According to UN reports, 60 per cent of all maternal deaths take place in humanitarian settings and all forms of gender-based violence against women and girls spike during disasters and conflict.

Experience and research show that when women are included in humanitarian action, the entire community benefits. Despite this, women and girls are often excluded from decision-making processes that shape the response strategies that affect their ability and that of their community to recover from crisis. Women must be included in decision-making about the forms of assistance, means of delivery, and the provision of the protection and economic and social empowerment opportunities they need so they can be agents of change.

The 2012 invasion of northern Mali by rebel and Islamist groups displaced over 500,000 people, the majority women and children. Watch the story of two displaced women who to give new direction to their lives with the help of UN Women grants. Khadija brews and sells hibiscus tea in Mopti market, while Aguechatou is a taylor who makes colourful women’s clothes.


At the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul from 23-24 May, UN Women is leading preparations for the High-Level Leaders’ Roundtable on Women and Girls: Catalyzing Action to Achieve Gender Equality. It will be one of seven roundtables at which leaders from Member States, the UN and multilateral actors, and civil society will come together to endorse commitments to improve humanitarian action worldwide. READ MORE HERE

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