GLOW Red came together as a reaction to the events and decisions that unfolded during the Red Cross Red Crescent meetings in December 2017. During that event, elections for the Movement’s top governance and leadership posts resulted in 26 men and 4 women being elected to the IFRC Governing Board – meaning women held only 13% of the positions. It was evident to the entire General Assembly that this image did not reflect the organisation’s base and composition.
A resolution was drafted, attaining widespread support among National Society representatives present and adopted by the Assembly that same year. The resolution signified a commitment by all parts of the Movement ‘to address gender equality and equal opportunities at all levels of their own leadership bodies’. However, it was clear to the group of women who initiated the resolution, based on long experience of previous resolutions and commitments made in relation to women’s leadership and gender balance, that without proper follow-up actions and mechanisms in place to hold the Movement’s leadership accountable this resolution would go nowhere.
The GLOW Red network was created in early 2018 in response to the need to ensure commitment to, and action from, the resolution. Read more about GLOW Red from the beginning.
How we work
Since this time, the GLOW Red model has been built organically – through participating in formal and informal meetings across the Movement, building the profile and purpose of the network, and leveraging opportunities for activism and advocacy. It has become an important voice in discussions about inclusion in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.
The network is a true network, driven by volunteers giving generously of their time. Investment by National Societies has supported these volunteers, allowing a small group of staff to dedicate part of their time through the GLOW Red secretariat.
Our strategy for 2023-2027 provides a vision and a mission for our work ahead, supported by three objectives:
- Increase and strengthen women leaders in senior positions of leadership and representation;
- Expand and diversify the pool of aspiring leaders; and
- Change the electoral face of governance at all levels of the Movement.
Read more about how we work in our Strategy for 2023-2027.
After four years of activities – during which the Movement has made further commitments to gender equality – GLOW Red undertook a period of review, including an external evaluation of the network’s effectiveness (Lighting the Path to Women’s Leadership: A Review of Glow Red’s Four Years of Action, May 2022). It was also an opportunity to see the impact of some of GLOW Red’s work, one of the most important being the elections held in the IFRC General Assembly meeting in 2022 resulting in a board with 51% representation of women.