Women in war: Leaders, responders, and potential

Women are the unsung heroes of crisis, yet are grossly overlooked when it comes to dialogue and decision-making. After surveying more than 13,000 women in 15 countries since 2020, CARE found that 91% led or actively participated in community response. 

Women provide meals and shelter to those fleeing conflict. They become breadwinners for their families. They are advocates and build powerful networks for change. 79% of women are finding ways to make communities safer, 71% are providing health services, and 46% are diversifying incomes to care for their families. Despite their incredible leadership, women are underrepresented in global discourse. 

Acknowledging, supporting, and unlocking this leadership is key to better solutions for everyone. We need to create the conditions where women can thrive as leaders, where they have support, and where they are safe speaking up. We cannot achieve long-lasting peace if we ignore women.


This report combines surveys, qualitative interviews, and data models using publicly available datasets to understand women’s experiences in conflict. It showcases their opinions and their stories to highlight how their leadership is critical to communities surviving crisis. 


The surveys cover 20,000 people (13,785 women) since 2020. Public datasets and data models build from national-level data about women and women in conflict and draw on articles and expertise from a variety of published sources. The report also includes a media analysis of more than 7.8 million articles published about conflicts between 2013 and 2023 to understand current narratives of conflict.

Read the full report