“Working for the ICRC is a lot of ups and downs, but I enjoy it a lot. My work has challenged me and given me purpose. My first mission was in Burundi. I had to use my French skills, so that gave an extra challenge, but I was determent to learn it. Quitting was simply not an option. Because I really believe we do make a difference, no matter how small. It is priceless to see a woman dance because we gave her shelter materials or people celebrating because they have received access to clean water – it means everything. It makes all the hard work and challenges worth it.”
– May Mousa, ICRC
“It felt like being thrown into the deep end, but I managed to keep my head above water”
“Everything has been a learning experience: From leaving home and being in protected environment, to going out to the field without any international experience. It felt like being thrown into the deep end, but I managed to keep my head above water. The biggest wealth I gained, besides the professional experience and technical knowledge, is the people I have met. I discovered different cultures and lived in situations I never thought I would experience, and I believe this is more valuable than anything else.”
“All the projects I have worked on have been interesting and meaningful, but the beauty of working in WatHab is that we don’t do the same thing every day. Every mission is different; every new mission is a discovery. That’s why I love working in this field.”
“I have found that being a woman in the humanitarian field can be an advantage. Even if some men do not want to listen to you, they still respect you. Although I have to say that as a woman it took me a bit more effort to get where I am today. By default, women are often expected to keep a low profile and are easily dismissed. So I realized I had to work extra hard to have my voice heard. Having said this, I was never discouraged. I kept doing a good job, showing my skills and I proved my worth.”
Between 1990 and 2017, women made up only 2 per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of negotiators and 5 per cent of witnesses and signatories to global peace processes.