Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Julie Searcy

Second Advisor

Elise M. Edwards


The global aid sector is meant to serve the world's most impoverished, exploited, and vulnerable peoples by providing assistance to those in poverty, internally displaced persons, refugees, and victims of natural disasters, wars, and famines. Aid organizations have been afforded a moral status as crucial entities for humanitarian crises, but they operate in patriarchal, oppressive structures that perpetuate gender inequality, neocolonial mentalities, and sexual violence. This paper will focus on atrocities involving sexual violence. As sexual violence scandals from aid organizations increasingly emerged in 2018 alongside the height of the #MeToo movement, the global aid sector developed its own hashtag, #AidToo, to bring awareness to these issues. While #AidToo did help publicize these scandals and create a conversation, numerous reports unfortunately continue to arise about further issues with sexual violence and prominent aid organizations. The ongoing sexual violence within the global aid sector, despite #AidToo's call for change, demonstrates the deeply embedded power structures that allow these issues to continue. To improve the global aid sector, it is necessary to recognize the structures and mentalities that exist in aid organizations to inform future change and operations.