Women in forgotten crises

Violence, no access to medical aid, not knowing the whereabouts of family members or how they are faring – this is the daily reality for women in crisis regions, who mainly go unnoticed by the rest of the world. We would like to dedicate our 250th fundraising appeal to such women and use the money raised to help them become drivers of change in their communities. Many thanks for your support!

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As a woman in a refugee camp in Somalia, in a gang-controlled district of Salvador, or living through the bombardments in Yemen, the likelihood of being forgotten is high.

Firstly, the world is often unaware of these situations.

There is little media reporting about the crises and the impact they have on the local population, in particular on women.

Secondly, many systems and cultures are structured to address the needs and priorities of men, not women.

For example, in some cultures and contexts warnings of natural disasters often do not reach women because they do not have access to radio or TV programmes.

Many humanitarian aid programmes try to counter this problem by providing special help for women and addressing their specific needs.

However, it is primarily women who bear the physical, psychological, social and economic consequences of war, conflict and natural disasters.

They are often left alone with their children and may find themselves having to care for the children of others too.

They have to provide food, shelter and medical aid, putting the children’s needs first and ignoring their own.

Women play a role in humanitarian aid

We are very concerned that women in crisis zones should not be seen merely as the victims of difficult circumstances. Women experiencing this kind of hardship often play a decisive role in protecting their families and helping their communities.

They do much more than simply care for their children. They play a key role in providing for their family, generating income, managing the money received from aid agencies, or setting up and running schools and training facilities. They are also active communicators and stand up for their own rights.

“Women in crises take on a major role, providing for their family members, engaging in the community, and managing the aid they receive, both cash and goods. They are key players in humanitarian aid and we want to support them in this role.”
Aurore Geiser, Humanitarian Programme Manager, Swiss Solidarity

The half-life of news is getting shorter and shorter, meaning that people forget about crises in other parts of the world all the sooner.

Unless pictures of crises are flashed up on our screens, many of us are simply unaware of them. In our 250th fundraising appeal we want to raise public awareness of these crises and in particular of the plight of women.

So we have chosen contexts that have not been reported on much in the media in recent months. These are fields in which our partner NGOs operate and run projects.

When we speak of forgotten crises, we mean the following:

  • Africa: Congo (DRC), Central African Republic, Nigeria, Somalia, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cameroon, Burundi, Sudan
  • Asia: Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar
  • Latin America: El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Venezuela / Colombia (refugees)
  • Europe: Greece (refugees) and Ukraine
  • Middle East: Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen

How your donation helps

Our partner NGOs have huge experience in providing humanitarian aid, and operate in the crisis zones and contexts listed above. The projects we intend to select and fund with your donations will be projects which focus specifically on addressing the needs of women in direct and innovative ways.

The projects might be in the following areas:

  • health
  • access to information
  • protecting rights
  • protecting against violence
  • financial support

Assistance in Switzerland

During our 250th fundraising appeal we do not want to forget that there are also women in Switzerland coping with difficult circumstances and in need of support.

We therefore intend to put a third of the money raised towards helping women in this country who have had to seek protection in a women’s refuge or similar institution as a result of domestic violence, family conflicts, mental health issues or for some other reason.

Your donations will go towards helping these women, many of them mothers, to get back on their feet and to start rebuilding their lives with professional help.

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