Women humanitarians protect human rights, dignity and give hope to others

19 Août 2019

Statement by UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on World Humanitarian Day

As we mark World Humanitarian Day, UNFPA salutes those who respond to crises around the world. This year, we call attention to the courage and commitment of women humanitarians who assist people amidst conflict, disasters and displacement. 

When crisis strikes, women and girls are disproportionately affected and face increased risk of gender-based violence. Health facilities are often damaged or destroyed, leaving women, including pregnant women, without life-saving care. The fundamental needs of women and girls that allow them to uphold their dignity are often an afterthought. The leadership of women and young people is often excluded from peace processes.

Uniquely positioned to reach and assist women and girls, women humanitarians constitute a large percentage of frontline responders who risk their own lives to save the lives of others. We pay tribute to women humanitarians who, under difficult conditions, protect human rights, dignity and give hope to others.  

We honour midwives who assist women in childbirth day and night in dangerous conditions. We honour women from communities and civil society who step up to stop gender-based violence, counsel survivors and ensure they get the services they need. We honour women leaders who oversee preparedness, response and recovery. 

This November, the international community will gather in Nairobi to mark 25 years since the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). Co-convened by UNFPA and the governments of Kenya and Denmark, the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 aims to garner political and financial commitments that will, in part, ensure that lifesaving services are available to women and girls affected by crises. 

We cannot leave any woman or girl behind. I call on all governments to join us for the Nairobi Summit to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian settings and help prevent and respond to gender-based violence on the frontlines. Together, we can make greater progress for rights, safety and dignity for all. 

Contenu connexe

Reportage photo

Au mois de novembre 2019, plus de 8 300 représentants venus de 170 pays et territoires se sont réunis à Nairobi, au Kenya, afin d’affirmer leur soutien pour la santé et les droits en matière de sexualité et de procréation. © UNFPA

Une évolution qui fait de cette décennie un moment où les femmes et les filles ont pu avoir le choix.
Le Sommet de Nairobi sur la CIPD25 s’est terminé avec plus de 1 200 engagements concrets pour assurer d’ici 2030 la santé et les droits sexuels et procréatifs pour tous et toutes.