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.

Show that you stand with women this International Women’s Day by sharing this video.

Recovery and resilience

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.

Esther from Nigeria

When Esther was just 17 years old, Boko Haram attacked her village. They raped and murdered her mother, then they murdered her father and brothers.

Esther ran on foot and eventually reached Minawao camp in Cameroon.

Getting shelter helped Esther find the space and strength she needed to recover from her terrifying escape.

But Esther has done so much more than escape violence and survive. She has built a life for herself and her young family. She’s emerged from the horror of violence, taken courses and set up her own business as a seamstress.

This once terrified and traumatised girl has emerged as a strong, independent woman with hopes for a successful future.

Share Esther’s Story

Girl with yellow scarf in Cameroon
‘Anytime I see somebody wearing something that I sewed, it makes me happy. I can now take care of some family needs.’ - Esther

Umm from Syria

Woman sitting in a tent with her four children
Umm gave birth to twin boys in a Syrian displacement camp

Umm was heavily pregnant when she was forced to flee. When her two children were injured in a bombing attack, she knew they couldn’t stay in their home any longer.

Despite being pregnant with twins, Umm was determined to get her children to the relative safety of a displacement camp.

‘I tell [my children] that life is beautiful, things will get better and we will be happy soon. I support them and try not to let them feel the suffering of displacement.’

Two weeks later, Umm gave birth to twin boys, Sattam and Abdul Karim.

In the face of extreme adversity, Umm protected her family and brought immense joy with the arrival of her babies.

Share Umm’s story

Behula from Bangladesh

32-year-old Behula lives with her disabled husband and four children on an island in the Brahmaputra river. Their home is a 30-minute boat ride from the mainland.

When heavy rains damaged her home in 2019, Behula didn’t know how she was going to protect her family.

Then Behula received a shelter kit. And with the tools inside, she repaired her home.

‘I needed to fix the broken fences, flatten the ground, and continue living’, she said.

Whilst caring for her disabled husband and young children, Behula rebuilt her home and the threads of everyday life.

Share Behula’s story

Woman holding her son whilst drying rice in the sun
Behula with her son Rifat – she uses her ShelterBox tarpaulin to dry rice in the hot sun
International Women's Day logo

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.