Theme: Volunteering and gender

“I’d say a woman’s role, not only in society, but in volunteering as well, on the working side, is quite marginalized. And I compared it, and that helped me back then to reflect on the role that we female volunteers have, because sometimes, many times, we are told: “Go ahead, give them your best smile and you’ll manage to get that for us,” because we have been told that occasionally. Then I say, no, I am more than that, going and laughing with somebody in order to try to get something for my colleagues; as a woman, I need to see what I can be for society.” (Female Volunteer)

  • Gender, along with other factors of identity such as, class, race and ethnicity affect the meanings, experiences and outcomes of local volunteering in different cultural contexts.
  • Volunteering in conflicts and emergencies can reinforce gender and other roles but can also enable the challenging of gender norms.
  • There is a need for further research on the impacts of volunteering on gender and other relations over time, and during protracted crises.


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