IRC addresses both the immediate and long-term needs of women and girls by responding to basic needs for shelter, food, water, medical and psychosocial assistance, and by laying the foundation for long-term efforts to promote economic, social and political equality. IRC’s efforts to end violence against women and girls are sustained in post-conflict and transitional settings to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in building a safer, more equitable world.
The IRC currently has WPE programming in 17 countries: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of South Sudan, Northern Caucuses, Burundi, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
From the Ivory Coast to Iraq, from Haiti to Somalia, women and girls have long been the target of increased violence during and after both human-made crises and natural disasters. Time and again, the humanitarian community has seen evidence of how conflict and natural disaster weaken social structures and services, and increase the risk and severity of violence against women and girls. The frequency and intensity of emergencies around the globe are changing how the humanitarian community prepares for and responds to disaster. As a community, we seek to reduce risks to civilian populations, to prioritize preparedness, and to invest in long-term prevention efforts in areas prone to crisis. And yet, experience shows that we also still fail to prioritize the needs of women and girls. Too often, emergency responders leave violence against women and girls largely unaddressed for weeks, months or years after emergency onset. Responding quickly and effectively to emergencies is a critical first step toward facilitating the healing of GBV survivors, and building environments in which women and girls are safe and able to contribute to reconstruction and lasting peace. The IRC Women’s Protection & Empowerment Unit is committed to emergency response and preparedness, with the goal of building the emergency response and preparedness capacity of IRC and other practitioners and policymakers in positions to prioritize and address the needs of women and girls in emergencies.
To provide members with innovative approaches and tools for GBV response in emergencies;
To develop strategies for strengthening GBV emergency response and prevention capacity at the local level;
To advance learning based on field-level application of GBV response tools in emergencies; and
To advocate for increased interest and investment in protecting women and girls from GBV in emergencies, and creating the space for their contribution to reconstruction and peace.
The IRC is the current chair of the VAW in Emergencies TWG. For more information about the group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org