WHD: Celebrating women's contributions begins with ending sexual violence against female humanitarian worker

Dear Sir,

Many people may not know today is World Humanitarian Day, with its theme of #WomenHumanitarians.

Around the world, humanitarian aid workers operate in dangerous and difficult environments and here in South Sudan, we know that many aid workers and peacekeepers have lost their lives while trying to protect and assist South Sudanese communities. Among them have been women who play a vital role in every aspect of crisis response, and particularly in preventing, responding to, and working with survivors of gender-based violence.

We also know that men and women in the humanitarian sector, experience differing risks in violent operational settings. While men in the humanitarian sector experience three to six times higher attack rates than women overall, women humanitarians are affected disproportionately by gender-based violence, including sexual assault and rape.

Gender-based violence has the potential to inflict significant long-term harm on humanitarians who experience violence in the workplace, at home or in the field, and it is our responsibility as humanitarian actors to support each other and to manage these risks effectively.

Under-reporting is a serious challenge to measure the problem of violence against women humanitarian workers and today is an opportunity for humanitarians to commit to better (and gender-specific) reporting going forward.

As we mark the day, honour those that have lost their lives, and celebrate the hundreds of thousands of #WomenHumanitarians across the world, we want to ensure that stronger accountability measures to end sexual violence against female humanitarian workers, as well as promote women’s participation and leadership in humanitarian response to encourage, support and act as role models for other women and girls.


Yours truly,

Rosalind Crowther, CARE International in South Sudan Country Director








For media queries, please contact:

Henry Makiwa, Senior Humanitarian Communications Coordinator, CARE International – makiwa@careinternational.org


Read more about CARE's work in South Sudan