World Humanitarian Day 2019 – Regional Webinars on Women Humanitarians

Celebrated every year on 19 August, World Humanitarian Day aims to raise awareness about humanitarian efforts worldwide. This year, the focus is on the role of Women Humanitarians – recognising their role in delivering aid and supporting the protection of civilians in times of crisis.

To catalyse discussion on the specific challenges and opportunities facing women in local civil society involved in humanitarian action, Charter For Change partnered with UN OCHA to organise two regional webinars to create spaces for cross-country exchange between women across the sub-Saharan Africa (August 15th) and Asia/Pacific regions (August 20th). Findings from a survey of women humanitarians about their challenges in the aid sector were shared, which received over 600 responses.

Please find below YouTube recordings of both webinars available to share and view.

Africa regional webinar – Thursday 15 August 2019 

Speakers on the Africa webinar included:

  • April Pham, Senior Gender Advisor, UN OCHA
  • Nasra Ismail, Director, Somali NGO Forum, Somalia
  • Thérèse Mema Mapenzi, Director, Centre Olame Bukavu, DRC
  • Mimidoo Achakpa, Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative (WiHRiN), Nigeria 

Asia / Pacific regional webinar (Tuesday 20th August 2019)

Speakers on the Asia / Pacific webinar included:

  • Aye Thiri, Gender Focal Point, UN OCHA, Myanmar
  • Kate Sutton, Director, Humanitarian Advisory Group, Asia/Pacific
  • Krishna Karkee, Centre for Disaster Management Studies (CDMS), Nepal
  • Zarqa Yaftali, Director, Women & Children Legal Research Foundation, Afghanistan
  • Lemau Afamasaga, Disaster Preparedness & Operations Manager/Pacific, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Fiji

The Asia/Pacific webinar was also co-hosted with GiHA (the inter-agency Gender in Humanitarian Action platform in Asia/Pacific co-chaired by IPPF, OCHA and UNW) and HAG (the Humanitarian Advisory Group), as well as UN OCHA.

Recent years have brought increasing attention to the localisation of humanitarian action, and to the role played by women in humanitarian action. These webinars were convened to support cross-country exchange between women working in national and local civil society groups engaged in humanitarian, resilience and protection work.

Speakers from national and local civil society organisations – including endorsers of the Charter For Change – framed the discussion; drawing on their personal experience and wider initiatives at local, national and regional level to empower women in humanitarian action.

To celebrate women humanitarians the two videos below feature Inass Zefddine and Maysam Shouman, International Planned Parenthood Federation ( IPPF) Member Association youth educators. They provide peer to peer education on sexual and reproductive health to Syrian refugees living in camps in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon.

Maysoum Shouman IPFF youth educator Lebanon
Inass Zefddine IPFF youth educator Lebanon

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