International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Building a Better Future for Women and Girls

Building a Better Future for Women and Girls

In West Africa and around the world, the International Rescue Committee helps survivors of sexual violence heal, works to make homes and communities safer, advocates for stronger policies and educates and empowers vulnerable women and girls.

How You Can Help

Long after war ends, sexual violence against women and girls continues. But given the right assistance and opportunities, they can recover and go on to have bright futures.


Half the Sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide

The IRC's Amie Kandeh, a leading advocate in Sierra Leone for women's rights and protection, is featured in the documentary Half the Sky on PBS. Amie helped open three centers in Sierra Leone  to aid survivors of sexual assault. She has also pioneered innovative programs that aim to end violence and empower women and girls.


Protecting and empowering women and girls

The IRC ensures survivors of sexual violence have medical care, counseling and legal aid. We partner with community groups and launch campaigns to challenge norms, change behaviors and stop violence. We also help girls gain knowledge, skills and confidence and increase women’s economic and decision-making power.

Watch One Girl's Long Road to School and Safety in Sierra Leone on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.

Agnes Libbi Smith lost her father during the civil war in Sierra Leone and her mother when she was 13 years old. Finding herself homeless, Agnes was physically abused and raped by a teacher who promised her an education. Finally breaking free and seeking help at the Rainbo Center with Amie Kandeh and the International Rescue Committee, Agnes hopes to become a doctor and help others.

Bundled Together: Empowering women in the face of violence

In crisis zones where the IRC provides humanitarian aid, millions of women and girls have witnessed extreme violence, suffered immeasurable loss, endured the chaos of displacement and experienced unimaginable abuse and brutality. Yet in what sometimes seems like a hopeless situation, there is hope and progress.

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Courageous women [Photos]                            

Every day in our work responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises we meet amazing, courageous women. As they struggle to rebuild their own lives after war or a natural disaster, these women are doing all they can to give hope to their families and communities.

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Learn more about how the IRC protects and empowers women and girls »