A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
International Women’s Day offers us an opportunity to raise awareness of inequality and reminds us that the struggle for equality and positive change must continue. There has been significant progress in women’s rights since the first International Women’s Day in 1911 but there is still a long way to go to create a truly equal world.
At Oxfam, we are working to make sure that women’s rights are upheld and advanced. We believe that this requires change on many levels – on legislation and policy, access to resources, cultural values and norms, and individual attitudes and beliefs about gender power relations. We seek to offer support and to contribute to the work of a range of partners and allies, movements and activists, including both mixed and women’s rights organizations.
Here are four reasons we are supporting #IWD2014, and some of the projects we are organizing to help close the gap on gender inequality:
1. Women are especially vulnerable to climate change.
Worldwide, women do the bulk of farm work, so they have to work harder and for longer in hotter conditions. The photo exhibition “Land Is Life”, organized by Oxfam Australia, shows communities on the frontline of climate change in South Africa and the Pacific Island nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu. Read more
2. One out of three women and girls world-wide have been a victim of violence or sexual abuse.
After she had investigated the dirty war in her country, Jineth Bedoya was kidnapped and raped. Now she is speaking publicly about what happened to her and has started a campaign to raise awareness among men. A portrait of a staunch defender of the rights of women who suffer abuse in the context of the Colombian conflict and one of the public faces of Oxfam Intermón's "Avanzadoras" campaign. Read more
3. While gender continues to be a primary determinant of poverty, significant shifts have been made around the world to advance women’s rights and increase gender equality.
We want to recognize positive change and those who have been a part of creating it. Join the global celebration to #RememberHerRights launched by Oxfam Canada. Read more
4. Situations of conflict, post conflict and displacement may exacerbate existing violence and present new forms of violence against women.
This photo exhibition organized by Oxfam in Mali features a series of stunning photographs – portraits of women, opinion leaders, and children with a focus on gender based violence and peace promotion. Some women took the initiative to fight by sharing their stories, becoming active and proud agents of their own history. Read more
Here's a snapshot of some of the #IWD2014 activities we're participating in, or organizing, across the world