UN development agency seeks $10 million to help women and girls in crisis

Women and girls participate in district meetings

8 November 2007 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today appealed for $10 million for a two-year initiative to help women and girls affected by conflicts or natural disasters.

“Neglecting women and girls in crises makes no sense from a development perspective,” said UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau Kathleen Cravero. “Not only do we fail to address the needs of half the population, we also fail to gain from their insights and resourcefulness during the critical stages of the recovery process.”

In seeking the funds, the agency pointed to the disproportionate impact of crises on women and girls while underscoring their potential to contribute to solutions.

“One of the most common and disturbing images of war is of women uprooted from their homes and communities, reeling from the effects of sexual violence and struggling to provide for their children in the harshest of environments,” said Ms. Cravero.

“But if we continue to see women only as victims – and not as problem solvers and decision makers – we do so at their peril, and at the peril of peace. We need to seize opportunities to ‘build back better’ during the recovery period,” she added.

The appeal is based on an Eight Point Agenda for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality in Crisis Prevention which deals with: protecting women from violence in crisis; ensuring women have access to justice; strengthening women’s voices and representation; building peace with and for women; promoting gender equality; putting women’s needs first in the recovery effort; urging governments to work for women; and strengthening women’s networks in crisis.

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