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Speech: Addressing the needs and rights of at-risk and crisis-affected women and girls

Colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Women have proven time and again that they can be on the frontlines of disaster response – whether in the home, the community or at the highest levels of government – if only they are given the chance.

We see this in the crucial role women have played as community mobilizers and communicators in the COVID-19 response, as well as in the recent Ebola and Zika epidemics.

We know that the integration of gender into humanitarian response, and a focus on women’s self-reliance and empowerment, leads to better humanitarian outcomes. UN Women’s research found that when women are provided with direct financial or resource contributions, they enjoyed greater control over household spending decisions and improved results for all family members. The benefits of gender-focused action far outweigh the cost: global studies show ratios of USD 8 benefit for every USD 1 dollar spent.

Read full speech on UN Women

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