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Women's safety and well-being at risk during natrual disasters

Men batter and rape women and girls during and after natural disasters
Women's Edge Coalition
NOTES FROM THE EDGE - January 2005

Women's Safety and Well-Being At Risk During Natural Disasters, Briefing Paper Reveals

New evidence compiled by the Women's Edge Coalition revealed that threats to women's physical safety significantly increases in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, such as the late-Dec. Indian Ocean tsunami, and the reconstruction process.

A briefing paper, released on January 26, provided statistical research, recommendations and anecdotal evidence on the impact of natural disasters on women and girls.

The paper urged the international relief community to take steps to incorporate a gender approach into humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts to minimize danger to women's safety and well-being.

In the emergency relief phase, the briefing paper found that women are often subjected to violence and sexual assault.

In Nicaragua, for example, 27 percent of female survivors and 21 percent of male survivors of Hurricane Mitch reported increased violence within the family.

Natural disasters frequently force women deeper into poverty as they become the primary caretaker in charge of both household duties and supporting their families and extended family members.

Disasters intensify women's poverty and increase their workload making it harder for them to access the types of resources and training they need to transition into sustainable livelihoods, it stated.

Additionally, the paper indicated that natural disasters destabilize family and societal structures at times pushing impoverished families to
sell their girl children into trafficking for basic survival.

In an effort to continue the dialogue on humanitarian relief and reconstruction after the tsunmani, the Women's Edge Coalition will co-sponsor a new series of videoconferences enabling citizens in the U.S. and tsunami-affected regions to speak out about the rebuilding effort. The new initiative, Partners for Progress, is led by the non-partisan Americans for Informed Democracy.

The new series seeks to raise the visibility of voices from the tsunami-affected regions to press the international community to support long-term relief, reconstruction, and development.

The first videoconference took place on January 26, the one-month anniversary of the tsunami. The videoconference will link together citizens in Sri Lanka, Chicago, Dallas, New Haven, Philadelphia, Bloomington, Washington, D.C., London, and Oxford in the United Kingdom.

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Re: Women and Girls in Danger After Natural Disasters

You are right on about this.

Amnesty International has been trying to alert the world to the dangers women and girls have been facing in the post-Tsunami environment.

To take action, follow the link below.

Re: Women's safety and well-being at risk during natrual disasters

Dear all, You are right about tis. However i would like to extend the argument that men beat and rape other men especially queer men, younger boys and transgender people during and after natural disasters. Oftenn the impact of the natural disasters on Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender and Gay communities go unreported because for the most part our experiences and stories are never recorded. Thsi si not to set a hierarchy of rape/ opressins, I write this is in solidarity with my fellow female bodied sisters.
Debanuj DasGupta
desiqueer (at)


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