Our Annual Luncheon tradition continues! This past Tuesday, April 30th, we held our luncheon in New York City, where our featured esteemed speakers had the opportunity to join a critical discussion about the realities of women living in rapidly evolving conflict.
The panel of experts￼ included Jeni Klugman of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security, Manal Omar of Across Red Lines, Zain Asher of CNN, and our very own Women for Women International CEO, Laurie Adams.
The panel got to the heart of the resources needed to allow us to move swiftly into unstable areas and reach the women who desperately need our support today. Our expert panelists also celebrated the resilience and courage of women survivors of war and conflict around the world.
Two highlights from the luncheon included the announcement that as of this month, we have reached over 500,000 women survivors of war and conflict, along with the launch of our new Conflict Response Fund to support women in conflict zones.
Women pay a brutal cost during conflict, and they have specific needs as they live through and heal from the trauma. That’s why we’ve launched this fund. Through this Fund, we have committed to two new countries, Yemen and Myanmar, where we will partner with local organizations to meet the specific needs of women. For example, provide training for Rohingya women in vocational and financial skills – giving them the power to earn and save income so that they can rebuild their lives once conflict ends.
As Saba Ghori, our Senior Associate Director of Social Empowerment explained:
“We seek local partners who understand the perspectives of women on the ground, how to support them as they heal, and address their needs as they take on new roles. We come up with tailored responses to meet the needs of the women we serve. And after the conflict is over, we are still there with the tools and resources of our 12-month program.”
Our work through the Conflict Respond Fund is compelling and necessary. We’ve decided to commit to Myanmar and Yemen, because, Myanmar is home of the Rohingya, one of the ethnic minorities who have fled attacks in the country – where troops have burned and ransacked their villages, raped women and girls, and murdered thousands of innocent people. And in Yemen, the UN estimates the war and economic collapse has put in danger 14 million people from starvation. People in Yemen have survived nearly 18,000 air raids since the start of the war in 2015. And 76% of internally displaced people there are women and children. According to the UN, an estimated 3 million women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence.
Yemen and Myanmar are just the beginning, and we can go in to any number of countries and to provide support, but only if we have the resources needed. During the luncheon we raised over half a million dollars for woman survivors of war. That brings us to over $58 million of our 3-year $75 million Match Her Courage campaign! With your help we can meet our goal and serve even more women affected by conflict. Donate today, click here.