A message to the WHS: Save Lives by Including Women’

22 May 2016 ISTANBUL: As the world’s first ever humanitarian summit begins, CARE International warns that neglecting gender differences will make life-saving assistance less effective in humanitarian emergencies. Properly addressing the various needs of women, girls, boys and men can be fully achieved only by involving women and girls in the planning and delivery of assistance.

Women and girls are particularly vulnerable during crises and have different needs and challenges from men and boys. Women and children are fourteen times more likely to die in a natural disaster than men. 60 percent of all maternal deaths take place in humanitarian crises and all forms of gender based violence against women and girls spike during disasters and conflict.

“There is no way of helping anyone survive a crisis with dignity without taking into account who they are and what they need. Still, in a humanitarian crisis, considering gender is too often considered an afterthought. While progress has been made, we still have a long way to go to ensure that the prevention of sexual violence and maternal deaths are considered as important as the delivery of food, water and shelter” says CARE CEO/International Secretary General, Wolfgang Jamann.

In order to elevate this issue on the World Humanitarian Summit agenda, CARE is co-hosting a side event on Monday 23 May alongside UN Women, Oxfam Canada, ActionAid on the topic of: ‘World Humanitarian Summit Delivers for Women and Girls’ highlighting the barriers and opportunities of how to adequately harness the contribution of women and girls building the resilience to crisis of their families, communities and wider society.

“Evidence shows that when women are meaningfully engaged, and their needs are directly addressed, humanitarian action is more efficient and effective, the transition to recovery accelerated, and community-wide resilience is enhanced,” says Jamann.

In a report recently released by CARE onempowering women and girls in crisesit was found that despite the clear benefits and broad agreement on the principle, women and girls struggle to be heard and to be given the opportunity to make decisions that could save themselves and communities during disasters. In 2014, only one percent of all funding in fragile states went to women’s groups.

Jamann adds: “We know through the work of our own staff that women are amongst the frontline first responders, and that role should be recognised and supported. All our first-hand experience has shown that greater alignment and a joined-up approach across gender equality and GBV mainstreaming is needed in humanitarian response.

As one of the leading humanitarian organisations CARE has made a number of very specific and concrete commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit to put women at the forefront of emergency response; both as recipients of aid, but also as change makers and leaders of the process. CARE will:

  • Scale-up partnerships with women-led organisations on humanitarian assistance and protection, disaster risk reduction, climate change resilience and adaptation and recovery programmes in Syria, Pakistan, Nepal and Niger.
  • Partner with women’s organisations in our core sectors (shelter, WASH, sexual reproductive and maternal health and food security) to bring their expertise into efforts to define and implement minimum standards on gender in these sectors.
  • Triple our funding to women’s groups by 2020.
  • Make sure all emergency preparations, programmes and monitoring takes in the specific needs of all men, women, boys and girls and and enforce guidelines and standards around it.


The following CARE spokespeople are available throughout the Summit:

Wolfgang Jamann, CARE International Secretary General, (German and English) Twitter: @wjamann

Barbara Jackson, CARE International Humanitarian Director, (English and Spanish)

 Gareth Price Jones, CARE International Senior Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Coordinator (English) Twitter: @GPJGeneva

Hodan Elmi, CARE Somalia representative (English & Somali)

Nok van de Langenberg, Emergency & DRR Coordinator, CARE Netherlands (Dutch & English)

Howard Mollett, Senior Policy Advisor, CARE International UK (English) Twitter:@HowardMollett

CARE staff and partner organisations are also available in the field by phone around the Summit:

Salam Kanaan, Country Director, CARE International in Jordan

Eman Ismail, Programme Director, Care International in Jordan

Ayesha Kariapper, Director - Regional Impact & Change Management, CARE MENA Regional Management Unit

Danijela Korac-Mandic, Serbia – Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre (NSHC)


To arrange an interview please contact: Lucy Beck, CARE emergency communications specialist on: tel: +44 7944904662 or email: [email protected]

About CARE International: With 70 years of experience and long-term presence in many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries, CARE takes a comprehensive approach to emergency response: first by working with communities to prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters; then by partnering with local groups to provide immediate assistance when an emergency hits; and finally by working with affected communities to help them recover after the crisis has passed. In 2015, CARE reached more than 10 million people through its humanitarian response.