International Women's Day : Statement by the GBV AoR Team

Mar 08, 2022

This International Women’s Day gives us a chance to pause and appreciate women GBV responders, humanitarian workers and human rights defenders from around the globe—those whose life mission is to #BreaktheBias in order build a world in which women and girls can live free from violence.  The GBV AoR thanks them, and you, for working tirelessly to support and empower women and girls everywhere, every day.  

This past year, and even now, COVID-19, war, disasters and trauma cast a long shadow on so many women and girls, spanning differences in geography, race, class, culture, sexuality, and other facets of our complex identities.  The work of women humanitarian workers, GBV responders and human rights defenders unites us all in a collective vision of a better future for every woman and girl, and for their families and communities.  Their work embodies strength in the face of persecution; good in face of evil; and optimism in the face of obstacles.

That strength is never more necessary.  In our own humanitarian community, we have struggled for visibility of women and girls’ rights and safety in the context of COVID-19.  We have advocated for funds we too often did not receive, and for sustaining programs that too often were shuttered because they were not considered ‘critical.’

But we have also had many successes.  We have raised up the issue of gender-based violence to the highest level of humanitarian leadership.  We have introduced new programs and generated new learning.  We have expanded our partnerships.  Even in the face of resistance, we have continued to insist that prioritizing attention to women and girls will generate better outcomes for everyone. 

Most importantly, we have had the opportunity to join with and struggle alongside a diverse global community of inspirational women’s rights activists who believe in the possibility of a safe and just world.  For all those whose work is often unseen and unrewarded:  today, and in the coming year, we celebrate them, and you, and our shared vision of a world in which we will #BreaktheBias.