Pakistan’s Humanitarian Country Team celebrates International Women’s Day


Author: Faria Salman

The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Pakistan began its celebrations of International Women’s Day (IWD) on 4 March 2016. The observance reflected on UN Women’s theme “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” with a reminder that parity in humanitarian actions has yet to be achieved for women and girls affected by disasters and emergencies.

Distribution of flowers with a call to “Step It Up” for a ”Planet 5050”. Photo: UN Women/Faria Salman

Over the years, Pakistan’s humanitarian leadership both UN and Government, have stepped up their commitments and efforts to ensure humanitarian planning, strategies and capacities are responsive to the concerns of all genders.In his IWD message, Neil Buhne, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, said: “A good humanitarian response to a crisis save lives and enables recovery, however too often, that same response leaves women worse off. This is because humanitarian agencies mainly work with traditional communities leaders – almost always men – who rarely give voice to the needs of women. This mistake means the gains to women from immediate relief after a crisis, in the longer term, are not realized. If there is to be sustainable and human development, it is crucial that humanitarian agencies help give women a louder voice.”

Members of Pakistan’s Humanitarian Country Team “Pledge to a #Planet5050”. Photo: UN Women/Faria Salman

George Khoury, Country Head of OCHA, shared: “Over the past years OCHA and the humanitarian partners have been working hand in hand with the government partners to ensure that women affected by disasters or displacement have equitable access for relief and social services in displacement and upon their returns and are empowered with livelihood opportunities. OCHA and the humanitarian partners are advocating bridging any lapses that impact women, such as lack of proper civil documentation. OCHA and UN Women have a uniquely enjoyed a partnership for over five years, through which dedicated gender services to the Humanitarian Country Team which enabled maintaining a high standard of gender integration in humanitarian planning and processes.”

Heather Macey, Representative of the Pakistan Humanitarian Forum, reiterated: “Humanitarian partners both national and international are committed to improving their outreach to meet the needs of Pakistani women and girls.”

Sangeeta Thapa, Deputy Representative of UN Women: “Women must be represented equally at all levels of disaster related institutions, and in decision-making processes in communities and at the national level. This is a goal that we continue to work towards here in Pakistan which is in line with our global campaign “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality”. We continue to encourage and build capacity of women for them to play a leadership role in disaster response and management and ensure they are adequately supported to shoulder future leadership of their communities.”

For more information:

Please contact: Faria Salman
Strategic Management and Partnerships Officer & Communications Focal Point for UN Women Pakistan
Email: [ Click to reveal ]