A commentary by Sybille Fezer (Board member medica mondiale), Monika Hauser (Board member medica mondiale), and Cordula Reimann (core, independent international consultant, trainer and coach).
Published as short version in the german newspaper taz on 12 March 2018
"#AidToo" – it has now also reached the aid and development organisations: as a debate on sexual assault of female staff, sexual violence, sexual exploitation and abuse of power of women in need of help and children in foreign missions. Is that a surprise? No, whoever understands the chain between sexism, gender discrimination, inequality, global injustice, and post-colonial dependencies is not surprised. The larger the power gap, the bigger the danger of abuse of power: On the one hand, there are development and aid staff and expats, often white and from the Global North, with money in their pockets; on the other hand, there are local women, men and children often traumatized suffering severely under violent conflicts or the effects of natural disasters. In many of these crisis areas, a state of emergency prevails wihtout any rule of law and an “anything goes” mentality. Corruption, impunity, a "culture of violence", financial dependence on donors and sexual exploitation are integral part of everyday life and a logical means of survival.