Women and girls are hardest hit by conflict and disasters. Women are also often the first to respond to meet the needs of their families and communities. Despite this, women affected by crisis often have little or no influence over the design and delivery of humanitarian assistance. This matters because women have a right to have a say over decisions that affect their lives. It also matters because, without women’s participation, humanitarian assistance often does not meet women and girls’ needs and can even reinforce gender inequalities and cause harm.

CARE's global Women Lead in Emergencies programme aims to change this

Women Lead supports women in communities at the frontline of conflict and disaster to overcome barriers to their participation, and to take the lead in meeting the needs of their communities. Women Lead brings tried-and-tested approaches from development programmes into our humanitarian response to:

  • enable women to identify their own priorities and act on them
  • put decisions on how to spend programme funds in the hands of women
  • support them to engage with community leaders, governments and humanitarian agencies to access rights, services and assistance.

Women Lead is the first practical programming toolkit for frontline CARE staff and partners to promote women’s participation and leadership in humanitarian settings.

It can be a stand-alone project or a component of a multi-sector humanitarian programme, but all Women Lead projects have dedicated staff and budget lines to support women’s participation and leadership.

Women Lead programming

Women Lead in Emergencies is currently being piloted in five countries: Colombia, Mali, Niger, the Philippines, and Uganda. We’ll be adding more resources and learning from the pilots over the next few months, so please check back in!

Photo above: Women from the Matu Masu Dubara Network of Tam (Diffa, Niger) with Aminatou Galadima, Women Lead Manager, CARE Niger