Droughts and floods this festive season create more risks for women and girls

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December 26, 2019
Mendy Marsh, Co-founder and Executive Director

Climate emergencies lead to greater risk of violence for women and girls

This holiday season across the world millions of women and girls are trapped in climate emergencies. Droughts in the Horn of Africa and Zimbabwe are threatening millions of people with hunger. Floods and storms are killing more women than men. During and after these climate emergencies, women and girls are more vulnerable to violence, and the poorest are at greatest risk. 

Women and girls almost always carry the unseen burden of climate emergencies, often being the last to eat or drink. Their specific needs must be recognized and documented for policymakers and aid donors.

At VOICE we know there are solutions, starting with listening to women and girls to hear what is needed.

In Southern Africa right now women and girls are significantly more vulnerable to violence including sexual exploitation, rape, forced marriage and trafficking. VOICE wants to be there for them, making sure they are heard, and that aid is protecting them from violence. 

They stay safer when those leading a humanitarian response are women themselves. Local women know what their communities need, and how to get lifesaving supplies quickly and safely to those who need it most. With women’s leadership, their sisters are at less risk of sexual exploitation.

VOICE works alongside women and girls living and working at the frontline of humanitarian crises, to catalyze the changes needed to end violence. VOICE also works to disrupt the humanitarian system and put the needs of women and their communities at the forefront of any response. As the world faces ever more frequent climate emergencies, women’s specific needs must be recognized and their active role must be embraced.

Together we have the power and the passion to transform the humanitarian sector. By lending our voices to advocate for an end to violence against women and girls, we can all affect the kind of change that makes our world a better place.