7 ways women are turning crisis response on its head

1. As millions face starvation in East Africa, women in Somaliland are leading an emergency response which has reached over 65,000 people so far.  


15 year old Layla Mohamed Yusif helps lead emergency food distribution in Qoyta village, Somaliland. Photo by Ahmed Mohamoud Mohamed/ActionAid

Women in Somaliland are engaged in leading the response to the East Africa food crisis. They’ve identified and prioritised urgent needs, and have led the distribution of relief items, including water, food, and dignity kits.  Women have also been mobilising in response to increased levels of violence against women and girls in drought affected communities. Right now, women are working together to make sure rights violations are documented and providing referrals to support services. Women have achieved all of this, with support from ActionAid’s Arise Fund.


2. Local women across the Pacific are taking action together to shift the balance of power in humanitarian emergencies into their hands. 



Women from the Shifting the Power coalition participate in the 13th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women, in Fiji.

Women across six countries in the Pacific have come together to take back power in emergencies from traditional (male dominated!) international humanitarian structures and hold it in their hands. A group of Pacific organisations representing diverse women has forged a coalition to support this shift in power, and ensure that women have the support they need to lead emergency response and make it work for them. FemLINKPacific, Pacific Disability Forum, Pacific Community (SPC), Nazareth Centre, Talitha Project, Transcend Oceania, Vanuatu Young Women for Change,  Vois Blong Mere, and YWCA Samoa have been working with ActionAid since 2016 as the “Shifting the Power Coalition”: an initiative supported by Arise.


3. 200 women leaders in Nepal have been part of local disaster committees that have reached over 1000 households with relief items and led efforts to protect their rights following devastating flooding.



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