Episode 85: Far From Home - Women in Aid

I once had to deal with two male staff, one of whom was accusing the other of threatening to kill him using witchcraft...I have to take it seriously and not disregard that person’s feelings and fears.
— Jessica, aid worker
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by SimplyCreativePhotography/iStock / Getty Images

A lot of us give to causes we care about. But how many of us ever think about the workers at some of these nonprofits - aid organizations like Doctors Without Borders, the Red Cross, or Oxfam? The aid world is full of women, and in this show we meet one of them. 

Work/life balance? Not easy when you and your partner need a UN helicopter to visit one another. The job can be physically grueling and also dangerous. Sexual harassment is common. But the work is also rewarding and challenging in ways my guest couldn't have imagined.  

You can also read a transcript of the show.

Further reading:  Why gender matters - but not just gender - in aid work by University of Southampton sociology professor Silke Roth (a 4-page paper). She's also the author of The Paradoxes of Aid Work - Passionate Professionals. 

This piece by Megan Norbert is about her sexual assault by another aid worker, and the relative lack of response. 

Reporttheabuse.org contains aid workers' personal accounts of harassment and assault. It was started after Norbert wrote about her experience.