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Where we focus

Women and girls

Women and girls—particularly in places affected by crisis—face discrimination, violence, and a lack of equal opportunities that threaten their lives and rob them of their potential. But with the right support and investment, they can change their own future and uplift entire communities. They can change the world.

Our goals

If women and girls are not protected and empowered, they will struggle to improve their lives. The International Rescue Committee helps survivors to heal and thrive, and works with communities and institutions to break the cycle of violence.
  • Ensure women have access to support and protection


    • Providing health care, counselling and safe spaces to survivors of sexual violence
    • Preventing violence against women and girls by addressing the root causes

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  • Empower women and girls to participate in the decisions that affect their lives


    • Ensuring women have economic independence and access to financial resources
    • Working with adolescent girls to envision a world where they can emerge as leaders

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  • Ensure governments protect women and girls against gender-based violence


    • Working with decision-makers and communities to ensure that at all levels there are laws and policies in place on preventing violence against women and girls
    • Empowering women and girls at the local level to advocate for the changes that will improve their lives

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Our impact

15 million

people in need, mainly women and girls, are missing out on gender-based violence services.

Despite a “shadow pandemic” of violence driven by COVID-19, the IRC found that funding for these services did not grow proportionally alongside need.

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< $11

is allocated for each person in need of gender-based violence support services.

A new analysis by the IRC finds that the average funding request for gender-based violence services is only 3% of the total needed.

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20 million

girls are at risk of not returning to school because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRC is calling on the international community to increase the involvement of local women leaders in developing COVID-19 response plans.

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News and features

Related reports & resources