Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides will give an opening address during the event ‘Call to Action: Eradication of Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies’ which takes place in Brussels today, in the margins of the Call to Action Annual Partners Meeting. The EU currently leads the ‘Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies’, a global initiative which raises awareness, and seeks to include the prevention and response to gender-based violence in humanitarian action.

Speaking ahead of the event, Commissioner Stylianides said: “Addressing gender-based violence in emergencies is a priority and a shared responsibility of all humanitarians. Prevention is better than cure. But at the same time we must scale-up our response to the benefit of survivors and all those at risk. The Call to Action can help us catalyse real change on the ground. I am glad that, since the EU took over the leadership of the initiative, in June last year, we have welcomed 13  new partners, including five EU Member States. I take this opportunity to call on all Member States who have not done so yet to join the Call to Action. Together, we can send a strong signal of our commitment to eradicating gender-based violence in emergencies. We can lead by example. Let’s strengthen our collective efforts to make a difference where this is most needed.

The event will also feature keynote addresses from Lamiya Aji Bashar, Yazidi human rights activist and recipient of the European Parliament’s 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. These interventions will be followed by a panel discussion with speakers including Angelina Nyajima, Founder and Executive Director, Hope Restoration South Sudan (HRSS); Saja Michael, Gender and Diversity Technical Advisor, ABAAD – Resource Gender for Gender Equality in Lebanon; Rasmus Stuhr Jakobsen, Secretary General, CARE Denmark; Dan Baker, Senior Humanitarian Adviser to the Executive Director, UNFPA; and Alexandra MacKenzie, Director, Humanitarian Organisations and Food Assistance Division, Global Affairs Canada. The discussion will be moderated by Monique Pariat, Director-General, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).


In June 2017, the EU took over the leadership of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a global initiative which brings together over 75 partners, including states and donors, international organisations and NGOs striving to ensure that gender-based violence is addressed in humanitarian crises. Its goal is to drive change and foster accountability so that every humanitarian effort, from the earliest phases of a crisis, includes the policies, systems and mechanisms to mitigate gender-based violence risks, especially violence against women and girls, and to provide safe and comprehensive services for those affected by gender-based violence.

The 2013 EU gender policy outlines the European Commission’s approach to gender and gender-based violence in humanitarian aid. To support policy implementation and coherence, the European Commission has also introduced a Gender-Age Marker, which applies to all projects funded since January 2014. According to the Gender-Age Marker, in 2015, 81% of all EU-funded humanitarian actions integrated gender and age considerations.

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