Learning From Women-Focused Civil Society Organizations Critical To Ensuring Effective Humanitarian Responses

Inter Press Service: What They Need: Money, Resources, & a Seat at the Table
Marcy Hersh, senior manager for Humanitarian Advocacy at Women Deliver

“…I was pleased to see so many more representatives from women-focused civil society organizations (CSOs) take the stage at events surrounding the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women this month. … Women-focused CSOs … are leading activities that many international organizations deem too difficult at times of conflict and disaster … There is growing global recognition that hearing more from experts at women-focused CSOs … is critically needed to make humanitarian responses more effective. … [B]uilding a more feminist humanitarian system requires handing over the mic and power to women-focused CSOs in conference rooms, press rooms, and boardrooms. It suggests letting go of some of our own power as international advocates to let women lead and set the agenda — and trust that our collective action for girls and women in humanitarian emergencies will be stronger because of it. It means relinquishing our speaking roles at international convenings so that the MVPs on the ground have a seat at the table…” (3/25).