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Women’s Protection and Empowerment

Violence against women and girls is endemic in areas affected by conflict and disaster. Its consequences are both devastating and lasting, with psychological, social and health consequences for women and girls. From domestic violence and sexual assault, to isolation and economic exclusion that leads to sexual exploitation, violence against women and girls has critical repercussions for individuals, families, communities and countries as a whole.

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

    Learn more

  • 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

    Learn more

  • 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

    Learn more.

Our impact


people have been reached by our community-based violence prevention efforts.

Here's a look at how an International Rescue Committee women's centre in Jordan helped Samaher, her daughter and mother find comfort and hope.

Counselling—and Zumba classes—help three generations of Syrian women find hope

survivors of violence were provided psychosocial counselling, health, and legal services by the IRC in 2015.

Learn about the work of our Women's Protection and Empowerment team.

GBV Responders' Network

people have been trained in gender-based violence (GBV) prevention.

Andrew Kusimba, father of two and community leader in Kitale, Kenya, raises awareness about violence against women in his community.

Raising awareness of violence against women in Kenya

News and features

Related reports & resources