Female Travel Safety NGO Report

Female Safety in High-Risk Environments

March 2023

This International Women’s Day, report will assess gender-specific risks for women operating in high-risk environments, supported by analysis of several case studies, with a focus on NGO operations to suggest whether, when, or where a gender-specific risk management approach is effective.

Report Summary

Due to the nature of work that Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) undertake, they will often operate in high-risk environments where security incidents are very likely to occur. 

Women are particularly well-represented in the field of humanitarian aid and constitute roughly 70-75% of the NGO workforce internationally. They are uniquely positioned to achieve a greater socio-cultural understanding of the operating environment through interpersonal skills and shared experiences and awareness. Female workers are also considered less threatening than their male counterparts, which can provide them the ability to operate with more freedom in some conflict zones. The combination of these factors indicates that an assessment of gender-specific security management should not only be considered, but should become an integral component of holistic risk management.  

83% of women reported having had concerns about their safety while on a business trip

GBTA and AIG Travel survey

Key Points:

  • Overview of risks to NGO workforces (including female-specific dangers)
  • Mitigation recommendations
  • In-country risk mitigation checklist
  • Case studies
  • Improvements to risk management practices
woman working in the city

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