Thursday, December 20, 2012

Step up for disaster risk reduction: appreciate, encourage and empower the female voice

Kanchana V in the Better India: The social role assigned to women as caregivers and nurturers naturally extend to disaster risk management, to secure life and the continuity of livelihoods, and to maintain the life support systems, in times of disasters. It would therefore be imprudent to understate the role women play in tackling emergency situations and in building resilience within their families and communities when a disaster strikes. Incontrovertibly, the societal position of women as agents of change needs to be stepped up.

Natural disasters devastate the lives and livelihoods of millions of people and cause substantial loss to the economy. Around 200 million young people worldwide are affected each year by reported disasters and thousands of them are killed and injured. A proper disaster risk management framework would enable the affected population, especially women, in taking immediate and correct steps in emergency situations.

In view of the transformational efforts by women in disaster prone areas, the UN General Assembly chose this year’s theme for the International Day for Disaster Reduction, celebrated world over on 13th October, as ‘Women and Girls: the [in]Visible Force of Resilience’. A wide range of events including tsunami drills and seismic risk discussions, gender-based violence workshops, community development work, poster and essay contests, panel discussions, gender awareness campaigns and education seminars were organised world over to celebrate the day. Women were given special awards and recognition for their exemplary work in disaster risk reduction and building resilience in their respective communities. United Nations has urged women and girls to be at the forefront of risk mitigation and disaster management. UN has also encouraged women to take up key leadership roles in disaster risk reduction initiatives and programs....

Om Kaliamman Koil Street flooded, shot by Mr.S.Koilraj (Dinamalar Reporter , Pallipalayam), Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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