Key to Global Refugee Crisis: Empower Women
by Isabela Barriga
Did you know that every minute, 24 people around the world are forced to flee their homes? That is 34,000 people who are leaving everything behind each day in the hope of a better tomorrow.1
Today, we are living during the biggest refugee crisis in history with more than 65 million people who are displaced.2
Concerned and outraged by this current state of the world and in search of solutions, I joined CARE, Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, and global thought leaders at the Helene D. Gayle Global Development Symposium on March 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium was to raise awareness for the urgent need to advance women and girls around the world in order to defeat poverty and achieve social justice.
Key influencers from the public and private sectors and important voices from around the world explored “How the Trump Administration and 115th Congress Can Elevate Women’s and Girl’s Voices.” One of the key panelist at the symposium, who is a personal hero of mine, was Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Madeleine Albright, the first women to become the United States Secretary of State and a former refugee from Czechoslovakia, was vocal about the actions of the Trump Administration including the travel ban and the Fiscal Year 2018 budget which proposed funding cuts as high as 31% for the State Department, USAID, and humanitarian and development assistance for poor countries.3
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke on a panel session that was led by Anne Richard, Visiting Fellow from University of Pennsylvania and Adjunct Professor Georgetown, with Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, on empowering women in emergency settings.
“Taking in refugees is an international issue,” said Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as she made the case for more refugees to be permitted into the United States. She told the room that she has driven all over America, “It’s a very large country, we have a lot of room.”
You do not have to drive across the nation to know that we have room for refugees. Leaders and citizens need to join forces to tackle this international crisis and this includes you. Yes, you. We cannot sit idly and allow the rest of the world to become a disaster zone.
How can you empower women in emergency settings? By giving women a voice. Meeting the needs of women and girls makes it possible to find solutions that can create sustainable and impactful change. Investing in women invests in a larger future in which women can help stabilize their families, communities and countries.
CARE currently works in 94 countries around the world to implement programs that improve women’s and girl’s economic, education, health, housing and family options. How can you help with the global refugee crisis? Support CARE’s #WorthThePenny campaign and tell Congress that cutting foreign would cost lives and save little. Write, call, or tweet your Congressperson or Senator - raising our voice can give a voice to girls, women and refugees worldwide. For more information, visit CARE Action: http://www.careaction.org/penny