On World Humanitarian Day, UN Women highlighted the crucial role of women involved in managing the humanitarian response
Several women from the Republic of Moldova, who got involved from the first day, along with thousands of other women from our country, in helping people who fled the war in Ukraine, talked about their experience and motivation, but also about the importance of each of our contributions in providing support to people in need. Women gathered within the event organised by UN Women Moldova on the World Humanitarian Day, marked annually on August 19.
Thus, UN Women has brought into light the primary role that women from different professional fields have in the implementation and management of the humanitarian response. Mayors, hosts for refugees, border police representatives, psychologists, all these women became humanitarian workers overnight and managed to ensure an effective and dignified response.
It is crucial that women participate equally in planning and decision-making in response to humanitarian needs, with their leadership and contributions recognized and valued. Women and girls play a key role in the survival and resilience of communities affected by the crisis. When crisis strikes, women are often the first responders. They are also disproportionately affected by conflicts. These multiple roles must be reflected throughout the entire process of planning and implementing the humanitarian response.
Felicia Bechtold, State Secretary, Ministry of Labor and Social Protection, thanked all women, hosts, social workers, mayors, civil servants, non-governmental and international organizations for solidarity and for helping refugees. "Throughout this period, many women have been very actively involved. We appreciated their organization, their humanity, but also their manifested dedication to helping the refugees."
"From the first days of the refugee crisis, I understood what empathy means in law enforcement bodies that a woman brings, I saw with my own eyes why all developed countries have so many women in uniform who work in law enforcement bodies. I saw what it means to be a woman in uniform and a psychologist and how to approach the problem of people entering the country. Empathy, the ability to feel somebody’s suffering as your own, happened to the whole community, to people in uniform and civilians. And I, as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, had to make certain decisions, some of them unprecedented, and I assumed them", said Jana Costachi, State Secretary, Ministry of Internal Affairs.
The event was also attended by women refugees who managed, thanks to the programs and projects developed by UN Women, to find a job or to become volunteers to support other people forced to leave their country because of the war. "We want the voices of these women to be heard and to inspire other people to take active involvement through donations, volunteering, calls for authorities to help refugees and host communities with their daily needs. This war means a setback in terms of gender equality, access to rights and services, safety and well-being, primarily for women. Crises affect women disproportionately. It is important to take into account gender elements when providing support, when planning sources, interventions and programmes. Women are agents of change and play an important role in security and peace processes", Svetlana Andries, UN Women program specialist, mentioned.
World Humanitarian Day is marked annually on 19 August, bringing together partners across the humanitarian system to promote the survival, well-being, and dignity of people affected by crises and the safety and security of humanitarian workers. It's a global celebration of people helping people.