Every year on August 19th, the international community celebrates World Humanitarian Day: an occasion to raise awareness on many different issues connected to the international humanitarian system. While different themes are highlighted every year, this year’s main message is #SHAREHUMANITY”.

World Humanitarian Day occurs shortly before important global meetings to discuss draft policy options for the Summit in September and October. These meetings are an opportunity to engage with fellow civil society organisations and their aims at building public and political understanding and support for humanitarian action towards the World Humanitarian Summit (to be held in May 2016).

The exacerbating gender gap in the realm of disaster response is among the issues we want to see discussed at the Summit. The international humanitarian system has failed to address the gendered impact of different forms of crises. The system has also failed at empowering girls and local women’s rights organisations during times of crisis. In fact, wider inclusion of and stronger empowerment of women and girls in the World Humanitarian Summit will lead to more sustainable and effective policy outcomes.

This year—and based on extensive consultations with local women’s rights organisations and groups from countries affected by conflicts and natural disasters—20 organisations (including WILPF) developed a joint position demanding major reforms in how the current humanitarian system addresses women’s issues.

Read the statement below to learn which major humanitarian system reforms local women’s organisations are demanding, and follow the hashtag #SHAREHUMANITY to keep informed on the progress. Find out more information at

Don’t forget to support their demands by spreading their message on your social media platforms!

>> Read the statement “Joint position calling for a pledge to empower women at the World Humanitarian Summit” in English

>> Read the statement “Note de positionnement pour un engagement en faveur de l’autonomisation des femmes lors du Sommet Humanitaire Mondial” in French

>> Read the statement in Arabic