VOICE at a Glance

VOICE is accelerating the global revolution against systemic violence powered by women and girls and the organizations they lead.

Who We Are:

VOICE is a diverse, women-led organization revolutionizing emergency response systems to prioritize and protect women and girls and other at-risk groups locally and globally.

We support feminist movements addressing conflict, disaster, climate change, mental health, and economic justice issues through an anti-colonial, intersectional feminist lens. We aim to partner in a manner that fosters accountability, radical empathy, and elevates local solutions.

What We Do:
1. Amplifying Voices

We bear witness, monitor, track, and research and report about the on-going failure of the aid industry. We support and facilitate collective advocacy for the needs of women, girls, and other at-risk groups, to create accountability and drive meaningful change, starting within the humanitarian system.

“The support and solidarity from VOICE is ‘unbelievable;’ the ‘solidarity’ we feel with VOICE has lifted us on our darkest days. We couldn’t do the work we do without the support of our ‘big’ sisters like VOICE.” With VOICE’s support we were able to conduct a regional assessment on the experience of LGBTQ+ refugees, which will tell us what is needed for a sustainable, long-term strategy and road-map for LGBTQ+ organizations working with refugees over the coming years.”

Examples of our work under this pillar include:

Home is Still a Long Way Away -- An Art Exhibition by Afghan Women: A moving video of a collage workshop VOICE hosted for women and girl refugees in Albania after the Taliban takeover.

  • Creating visual tools and guidance based on story gathering and arts based methods and movement support in partnership with women and girls and disseminated to other actors for learning and best practice as well as policy change
  • Developing joint advocacy messages in partnership with women- and girl-led organizations.
  • Supporting and implementing research conceptualization to meet a particular need or gap in information around gender-based violence, how women- and girl-led organizations are being treated by the emergency response industry

2. Network Building, Programming and Practice

We co-generate ideas, co-create strategies and actions, and support solidarity-building amongst and between feminist organizations and movements locally, regionally, and globally. We work hand-in-hand with locally owned, women- and girl-led organizations to expand their capacity - operationally, programmatically and administratively - to prevent and respond to violence through an intersectional, feminist approach.

“One of our team members participated in the VOICE regional convening for women’s rights activists, which she said was ‘too good to describe’ and enabled her to learn how to lean on her peers – especially as their programs grow. We have new goals for the future and we know that VOICE looks forward to supporting these goals.”

Examples of our work under this pillar include:

  • Capacity support on gender-based violence in emergencies for programming; and case management and mobile services to meet survivor needs
  • Design, set-up of and support in running women and girls’ safe spaces
  • Training on trauma-informed/war-related and mental health psychosocial support
  • Training and systems change work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian aid workers

VOICE hosted a regional convening in September of 2022 to bring together women- and girl-led organizations and frontline responders from Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Slovakia to recharge and connect in the face of the Russian war on Ukraine. The following canvases were created by groups of participants expressing their thoughts, feelings, hopes, and needs related to their work as frontline responders

3. Moving the Money

VOICE connects women- and girl-led organizations with the necessary funding to deliver vital aid. We are bridge-builders, helping donors figure out how to adapt their systems to better invest in and support women- and girl-led groups. We make “localization” possible, effective, and efficient, modelling the trust-based philanthropy work that is vital to getting money into the hands of the people best poised to utilize it for good.

“We feel listened to by VOICE. When we first spoke with VOICE it felt great; we feel we can tell VOICE everything, and you can see what we are doing and how we are feeling, and when you referred us to funding we felt like — okay, this organization can just do something, they are doing something. Thanks to VOICE’s Solidarity Fund support, we have actually been able to provide the same services to them here. They are here and they need help, and you gave this help.”

Examples of our work under this pillar include:

Download Our Report: "We Must Do Better: A Feminist Assessment of the Humanitarian Aid System's Support of Women- and Girl-Led Organizations During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Funding allocated specifically to violence against women and girls in emergencies between 2016 and 2018 amounted to $51.7 million, just 0.12% of the $41.5 billion allocated for humanitarian response over the three years.

Download Our Report: "Where's The Money: How the Humanitarian System is Failing In Its Commitment to End Violence Against Women and Girls."

4. Showing Up and Shaping Humanitarian Action

VOICE co-designs and actualizes women-led strategies and solutions, and challenges systems of power. In crisis situations, we deploy a diverse, seasoned, rapid-response team of experts with in-depth contextual knowledge and experience on gender-based violence in conflict and crisis settings to ensure that women- and girl-led organizations have decision-making power within humanitarian action and the opportunity to direct funding. Our teams work to ensure that the humanitarian response is delivered in ways that are safe, inclusive, and bolster women’s and girls’ participation and leadership.

“VOICE is always supporting us in everything we do. I don’t want to ever stop working with VOICE, there is still so much to learn and gain from working together. I am learning how to make proposals, how to do research, how to make budgets, how to do trainings. Prior to working with VOICE we didn’t understand what the UN was and how to engage with them. Now we understand the possibilities of collaborating with the UN coordination structures and can see the benefit of engaging on multiple levels.”

Examples of our work under this pillar include:

Download Our Report: "Waiting For the Sky to Close: The Unprecedented Crisis Facing Women and Girls Fleeing Ukraine.

  • Producing lessons-learned guides on where humanitarian actors are inflicting harm (through current actions or inactions), and where clear solutions can be enacted at every phase of the emergency.
  • Building bridges between local women’s organizations and humanitarian actors in a crisis, ensuring that women and girls are part of decision making in emergencies.
  • Leading in efforts to promote a higher quality emergency response that meets international standards and commitments.
  • Using innovative high and low technological solutions to enable the safe delivery of goods, services that mitigate risks and improve survivor wellbeing.

5. Security and Wellbeing for Women On the Frontlines or Women Workers

We provide innovative, safe and ethical training that is developed by, for, and with women on security preparedness and collective wellbeing.

“We really enjoy being able to meet in a less formal setting, and to work with an organization like VOICE that values us as people, not just as workers, and to spend time together in a relaxing way. It is much needed as our work is very taxing.” 

Examples of our work under this pillar include:

  • Operationalizing security support, including managing security risks; including integrated personal security.
  • Providing tech-related support, including: digital and cyber security training for women-led organizations.
  • Download Our Report: "Who Cares For the Carers? A research brief from our report "We Must Do Better."

Where We Work

Our team includes humanitarian practitioners, researchers, and human rights defenders with over 100 years of experience in feminist movement-building and violence prevention and response.

We are working to help meet the needs of women- and girl-led organizations in a growing number of countries, including Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Hungary, Iraq, Lebanon, Kenya, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Uganda, Ukraine, the U.S., Venezuela, and Yemen. Many of our team members come from the places that we work, meaning that deep local knowledge, expertise and lived experiences underlie our approaches. 

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