Rape used as a weapon of war, the effects of climate change, the economic impact of conflict: women face greater risks during and after disasters.

When it comes to humanitarian response, women are still often overlooked despite sector-wide commitments to better recognise their needs and include them in relief efforts.

Meanwhile, abuse and harassment inside the very industry tasked with providing aid sometimes worsen the situation. Women and girls who are aid recipients can be doubly affected as they become victims, and some female aid workers have also been victimised – their relative positions of power unable to protect them.

In 2018, as IRIN continued to highlight the challenges faced by some of the world’s most vulnerable women and girls, we also turned the spotlight on the inner workings of the aid sector, at a time when #AidToo tarnished the image of the industry.

Below are highlights from our reporting.


Aid’s MeToo Moment

closeup of a woman's hands with fingers interlaced and blue sleeves

UN victims

women walking across a road one stares into camera from a distance


Rape as a weapon


Climate and gender

Opinion | What to do about climate change? Ask women – they have the most to lose


Climate change affects everyone, but poor people who already live in the ecological margins are hit hardest – especially women, many of whom collect the firewood, fetch the water, and grow the food. So women must also be on the front lines of finding solutions. The struggle for climate justice and gender justice must go hand in hand.

A woman walks in front of a temporary shelter with a water jug

Displacement’s toll

a woman at a sewing machine


Community support

A woman walks into a hair salon at night


Routine and risk

First Person: Want to thwart human traffickers? Just add water


Getting clean water is a huge challenge for displaced people in northeast Nigeria’s Borno State. With 75 percent of infrastructure destroyed due to conflict and insufficient supplies in displacement camps, many are forced to leave in search of boreholes. But for women and girls, this presents an additional threat – the risk of being trafficked.

A group of people around a water spot