Browse by Theme: Women's Voice

Local women-led organisations and women’s rights organisations play critically important roles in crisis response, but their efforts often lack both political and financial support. In this report, 15 such organisations provide a snap-shot of the COVID-19 response to date in terms of access to funding, partnerships and decision-making for women-led organisations and women’s rights organisations. 

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Governments, NGOs, and society at large must work towards the end of child marriage, but it is also critical to recognise the power of girls to lead the way to end this practice in their own communities. UNFPA estimates that 13 million more child marriages could take place by 2030 than would have prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, programmes that work to end child marriage are unable to operate due to shelter-in-place directives. However, girl activists, within their own communities, are able to subversively challenge the norms and attitudes that put them at risk for child marriage.

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The COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately affecting women and girls. This makes it all the more important that their voices are equally included in the decision-making spaces and processes where responses are formed. CARE’s research has found that where women do have higher levels of leadership, governments are more likely to be responding to the crisis in a way that supports gender equality. Women’s participation is necessary at every level and in every arena, from national crisis committees to the local communities on the frontlines of humanitarian responses.

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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the world, with widespread global impact at unprecedented scale. There are more than 5.7 million reported COVID-19 cases world-wide, and it has been attributed to over 357,000 deaths, as of May 28, 2020. It is widely recognised that these numbers are both underreported and the impact of COVID-19 on households and communities reaches far beyond these figures. As economies crumble and healthcare systems across many parts of the world face unprecedented strain, caregivers, food producers and providers, and health workers (the majority of whom are women) have emerged as the first responders sustaining life and building pathways toward recovery. CARE is working to understand the gender implications of the crisis as it evolves.

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In the COVID-19 crisis, some commentators have noted that governments with women leaders have responded more effectively. For the most effective response and recovery, women’s leadership must go far beyond the top role, to be supported at all levels, in order to bring essential perspectives and experience, prevent roll backs on equality and lay the path for a fairer future.
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I have been part of rapid response teams deploying to typhoons, cyclones and floods in Asia and droughts in East and Southern Africa and worked on emergency responses for 15 years. Each time, I’ve seen first-hand how around the world, women and girls are all too often on the frontlines of the climate emergency.

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This policy briefing from CARE International UK outlines why women must be a central part of the response to the climate crisis, and argues that the UK Government, as host of the COP26 UN climate talks in November 2020 in Glasgow, has an influential and critical role to play in accelerating global ambition to stop the climate crisis, and securing commitments that put women first.

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