Making the invisible, visible: Advancing women’s health leadership in humanitarian environments

To ensure increased capacity and protection for women, their families, livelihoods and communities it is essential to address women's unequal access to healthcare, education, economic resources and decision-making power. Women leaders use unique understanding of context, vulnerabilities and capacities of women in crisis to support resilience.

A Red Crescent worker and patient at a maternal health clinic in PakistanThe Canadian Red Cross, as part of the global Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, empowers women to take on leadership roles in their communities, ultimately supporting the most vulnerable in humanitarian contexts.

When women and girls are involved in humanitarian action, they positively influence the way programs are designed and managed to ensure they better meet the needs of the entire community; women, girls, boys and men, supporting the Canadian Red Cross’ commitment to advancing gender equity, protection and social inclusion.  

As humanitarian actors, we have an important role to play to better support women and girls during humanitarian crises, to reach those who are most vulnerable; those who can be invisible.

A girl smiles in South SudanIn June, the Canadian Red Cross will join world leaders, as well as humanitarians, influencers, activists and journalists at the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver. Women Deliver is the world’s largest conference on gender equality and health, rights, and the wellbeing of girls and women.   

The impact of conflicts, disasters, emergencies, and displacement can create opportunities for women to step out of traditional roles and relationships, leading the way for empowering women to be agents of change in their communities. Local Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies and other local community-based organizations play a critical role in making the needs of the invisible, visible.

As we countdown to this conference, we acknowledge the impact of and the work some of the women at the Canadian Red Cross who are working to empower women and girls. Be sure to check our social media feeds for Women Wednesdays to keep up with these profiles. Follow our work with Women Deliver at #RedCrossWD.

Related stories: 
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What happens to women and girls during disasters?
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