International Women’s Day: Empowering Women with Humanitarian Aid

Honoring the strength and resilience of women in crisis.

Imagine a world where every woman, regardless of her circumstances, has the opportunity to not just survive, but thrive. In this world, women are protected from violence, have the same access to essential services, and are empowered to pursue their dreams without barriers or limitations. It’s a world where every woman’s voice is heard and valued, where her contributions are celebrated and respected.

At Medair, that’s the future we’re working towards.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day – on the theme of ‘Invest in Women, Accelerate Progress’, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the disparities and hurdles women in humanitarian crises still face today, and celebrate the resilience of women who inspire hope amidst adversity.


Why women need additional support in crisis

Portrait of a Syrian women - now a refugee - inside her shelter home, constructed out of plastic and vinyl sheeting, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. For any usage of this point outside of Medair: Please contact Conny Sjberg at Lakarmissionen, 08-620 02 00.

Statistics paint a stark picture of the adversities women face in crises. They often bear the brunt of the challenges, facing greater risks of violence, exploitation, and struggling to access crucial services like healthcare. As a result, gender-based violence escalates, and women confront barriers to livelihood opportunities, while displacement disrupts education for girls, leaving them vulnerable.

According to UNFPA, women and girls are 14 times more likely than men to die during disasters, and 20% of displaced women have suffered gender-based violence and need access to critical medical care.

These figures highlight the urgent need to prioritize the support and empowerment of women in crisis.






Investing in women means investing in communities

A woman with children in her community in South Sudan

Investing in women is both a moral obligation and a strategic advantage. Studies consistently highlight that empowered women serve as catalysts for economic growth, while also fostering social harmony and driving long-term progress.

Take Marcia, for example – who is a leader in her community in South Sudan. She is responsible for representing the women in her community and advocating their needs to the Chief. She is also a champion for their safety, encouraging people to use water filters provided by Medair for a cleaner, healthier drinking water.

A woman in South Sudan who represents and aids her femaile community members

Women also serve as the backbone of communities, embodying natural leadership, nurturing qualities, and innovative spirit. By providing them with resources, opportunities, and a platform for their voices, we unleash a force for transformative impact, reshaping the landscape of society for the better.

“Women are a vital and important part of our culture, education, development, and well-being. Whether they’re working, raising the next generation, or playing with their grandchildren in the park, their contribution makes a difference,” said Reem, a Medair worker in Jordan.


How Medair is making a difference

At Medair, we stand in solidarity with women and their children in their time of need.

Our approach goes beyond mere assistance; it embodies restoration, empowerment, and hope, to help them not just survive, but thrive. Through comprehensive programs tailored to address various needs, we walk alongside women on their journey to rebuild their lives and communities;

  • Our mobile health teams, comprised of skilled professionals, deliver vital care directly to communities in need. From maternal health services to psychosocial support, we ensure women access the support they need to restore their dignity.
  • We prioritize the protection of women and girls through gender-sensitive programming, creating safe havens where they can find refuge, solidarity, and assistance. By amplifying their voices and experiences, we empower women to reclaim their agency and dignity in the face of chaos.
  • Economic support is another core element of our work. By providing women with tools and resources to create sustainable livelihoods, we break the cycle of poverty and dependency, fostering resilience and self-sufficiency.
  • Education is a powerful tool for fostering positive change. We tirelessly advocate for girls’ access to quality education, believing it to be a catalyst for transformation. Our mother-to-mother groups also help to develop healthier hygiene practices, ultimately helping hundreds of thousands of women carve their destinies and become catalysts for change.

Humanitarian aid worker supporting women in Lebanon

Amidst the challenges and triumphs of our humanitarian efforts, we cannot overlook the invaluable contributions of our female volunteers and workers on the ground. We extend our deepest gratitude to these remarkable women who work tirelessly in the field, often in difficult and dangerous conditions, to make a difference in the lives of others.


How you can help

Empowering women in crisis is a collective effort; we cannot do it alone. If you would like to join us in our mission to support women, children, men, and families in need, you can support us by donating, or volunteering your time or skills to making an impact on the ground. Your contributions enable organizations like ours to provide vital resources and assistance, and advocate for women’s rights and raise awareness.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women in crisis and ensure they have the support they need to thrive.


This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.