On 4 March 2012 UK Secretary of State for International Development launched an International Call to Action to address violence against women and girls (VAWG) in emergencies (‘Call to Action’). In January 2014, the United States assumed leadership of the Call to Action process as part of its global commitment to end gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies, led by its initiative “Safe from the Start”. The US has committed to organise a follow-on Call to Action event in September 2014 in New York during the high-level week of the UN General Assembly.
Members of the Gender and Development Network (GADN) welcome the leadership of the UK and US governments on GBV in emergencies. The Call to Action continues to be a crucial platform to build a coordinated approach and improve GBV emergency response on the ground across states, UN agencies and NGOs, as well as to better address gender equality in emergencies at global, regional and field levels.
While we value the progress made to date, we urge all donors and humanitarian actors participating in the Call to Action to take further steps to translate high level commitments to change on the ground, with the ultimate goal of improving the life, safety, dignity and resilience of women, girls and GBV survivors in current emergencies, including survivors of harmful practices like such as early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).