Orange The World: United To End Violence Against Women

Today, 25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the World Food Programme (WFP) is taking part in the UN Secretary-General's UNiTE Campaign. 

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread violations of human rights, and can include physical, sexual, psychological and economic abuse while cutting across boundaries of age, race, culture, wealth and geography.

WFP is fighting violence against women through prevention, empowerment and food assistance. Here we want to tell you the stories of three women who received our support.

We helped them in different ways but with the same guiding principle: women are the most effective solution to combating and preventing hunger.  

Fatima*: Preventing the risk of violence in Sudan

* To protect the womens’ privacy, real names are not used throughout

In Darfur, Safe Access to Firewood and Alternative Energy (SAFE) projects, organized by WFP and partners, help to reduce the risk of violence against women and girls who are exposed to danger when walking kilometers to gather firewood for cooking. They can spend four to eight hours every day searching for firewood.

But Fatima says that since enrolling in a WFP SAFE program, she has learned how to make fuel efficient stoves, reducing her trips into the bush for firewood. This also frees up time for Fatima to work on the handicrafts that provide her earnings.

Download the factsheet (PDF; 0.3MB) and read more about Fatima's story.

“Women and girls can be raped by soldiers if they venture even a few hundred meters outside of the village, and if they get pregnant, their babies are considered (sinful)”

Visit the UNITE campaign's website

Hasina*: Empowering women in Bangladesh

* To protect the womens’ privacy, real names are not used throughout

In Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, WFP’s Enhancing Food Security (EFS) project provides opportunities for ultra-poor women to take new roles in their households and communities. 

As an EFS participant, Hasina received a monthly cash transfer, a small business grant and training in business skills. She attended sessions on health, nutrition, leadership, financial management and homestead gardening.

The experience has helped Hasina to step outside the traditional gender roles prevalent in Cox’s Bazar, where women are often unable to leave their homes alone and violence against women is too often considered acceptable. 

Download the factsheet (PDF; 0.3MB) to read more about Hasina's story.

“It’s changed me as a woman, mother and wife, as well as a leader of this group”

Visit the UNITE campaign's website

Hilda*: Food assistance in Ecuador for a new start

* To protect the womens’ privacy, real names are not used throughout

After Hilda fled her abusive husband with their four children, she turned to WFP for assistance in rebuilding her life.

Her husband Jose forced her into prostitution, taking all of her earnings and beating her if she refused to work. Such violence continued throughout their five years together – a period marked by continuous abuse and fear.

Download the factsheet (PDF; 0.3MB) and read more about Hilda's story.

"That was the first time that I realized my partner could kill me one day. So, I asked myself: what will my children do if I die? This made me see life under a different perspective.”

Visit the UNITE campaign's website