International Women's Day

Leading, Working, Rebuilding

Women and girls are often the worst affected by disasters, and yet go on to lead their community recovery efforts. Read on to learn more.

Stand with women after disaster

As women around the world flee disasters, they are often left homeless and vulnerable.

After disaster, all forms of violence against women increase. Women experience higher death rates, are more impoverished, have less education, and are more likely to make sacrifices for their family like eating less food.

They make impossible decisions – to flee their homes, to carry children on long journeys, to survive. They face the unimaginable, and yet they protect their families and keep communities alive.

Last year we helped thousands of women, supporting them to rebuild their homes and their lives.

Read and share their incredible stories here.

Women are leaders in recovery and resilience.

They protect their families and keep communities alive. Meet some of the women we have worked with, who have rebuilt their lives in the aftermath of disaster.

Kaltoumi's story

When Kaltoumi smiles, it’s impossible not to smile with her. But despite her joyful demeanour, Kaltoumi has endured terrible violence that began when Boko Haram attacked her village in Nigeria.

“While running away, I left everything behind. I lost everything when I escaped. […] That time seems so far away now. I didn’t know if I could handle that situation for long. I spent all my time working and I was tired of how we were living. I was tired of crying.”

But Kaltoumi was determined she and her family would survive.

“I dealt with the lack of food and the worrying health conditions of my children. I worked in people’s farms and earned a little bit of money to buy food for the family. A small piece of land was given to me for farming, so I tried to manage my time for both farms.”

Thanks to supporters like you, Kaltoumi was given two shelter kits, solar lamps, kitchen essentials, blankets and a water filter.

With a safe roof over her family’s head, Kaltoumi can now make plans for the future. She hopes to set up her own business selling food so she can provide for her children. 

Share their stories

Phuleswari's story

When Cyclone Amphan hit India, it destroyed Phuleswari’s home and much of what she owned. The rains devastated the entire region, with floodwaters coming up to Phuleswari’s knees. The storm left the family with nothing.

Phuleswari was able to escape with her children to safety but when they returned to their house, there was very little home to come back to. “My daughters were scared and crying. I took them in my arms to calm them down.” At the worst point of the storm, a tree collapsed and nearly crushed the house with everyone in it.

As the floodwaters receded, Phuleswari and her children needed emergency shelter to survive in the aftermath of the storm. Supporters like you provided Phuleswari and her family with tarpaulins, ropes and tools.

Phuleswari has been a pillar of strength for her neighbours too, generously sharing and cooking food even when she has so little herself.

How do we support women in crises?

ShelterBox works with communities affected by disaster and conflict to ensure that no family goes without shelter.

We give immediate emergency aid, so that women and their families can start rebuilding their homes and lives for the future.

It can be the simplest items that provide a sense of relief. A sturdy tent to protect her loved ones from harsh weathers. A thermal blanket to keep her warm in freezing conditions. A cooking pot to provide hot, comforting meals.

You can stand with women this International Women’s Day by giving the aid they urgently need.