Humanitarian responses have traditionally been controlled by male-dominated international bodies, leaving little space for women in affected communities to lead. As a result, women’s rights and needs are rarely prioritised in their response. The Pacific is experiencing a significant increase in climate-induced humanitarian disasters. In this context, ActionAid Australia is working as part of the ‘Shifting the Power Coalition’ to support women to lead emergency response and take power back into their own hands – ensuring disaster response addresses women’s needs. Supported by the Australian Government and ActionAid Australia supporters, the coalition of organisations – femLINKpacific, Pacific Disability Forum, Pacific Community (SPC), Nazareth Centre, Talitha Project, Transcend Oceania, Vanuatu Young Women for Change, Vois Blong Mere, YWCA Samoa, YWCA PNG and ActionAid Vanuatu – is working to build the existing power and knowledge of women emergency responders. On the frontlines of disaster, women play a vital role in ensuring the food security of families and communities.
Women are being supported to lead humanitarian action and raise their voices through training, network building, and research – all which help strengthen their advocacy and engagement with local and national decision makers.This project is transforming gender relations by supporting women to demonstrate the power and potential of their leadership well beyond the humanitarian crisis.