A Disaster For The Women Of Pakistan
"This disaster is like few the world has ever seen. It requires a response to match, Pakistan needs a flood of support." - U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon
Dear Friends --
Pakistan needs a flood of support
We continue to receive word from women's groups in Pakistan. Twenty million people - 1 in 8 Pakistanis - have been impacted. The official death toll is over 1,500 and continues to rise.
Tragically, our partners are reporting additional disturbing news. Women and girls are missing in great numbers, which may mean they have been kidnapped. In addition, militant groups are mobilizing aid and raising resources, which poses grave danger for women and girls in a region already ravaged by war, conflict and fundamentalisms.
We are incredibly grateful for your generosity - together we've raised almost $40,000 to assist in our crisis work. But the need is great; we urge you to continue your support with a generous emergency donation. Tomorrow we will be sending another emergency grant to Pakistan; please help us support our partners through this crisis.
Dr. Saman Yazdani of Shirkat Gah, a leading Pakistani women's organization mobilizing relief aid and a key partner of ours, recently sent this update:
"All disasters and conflicts affect the most vulnerable harder, and women and children are amongst these. In Pakistan, rural women are amongst the most vulnerable of social groups, apart from the gender discrimination that most women regularly face. These women have the added disadvantage of being unable to access many opportunities that their city counterparts can (e.g. good health care). It is vital that we keep a vigilant eye on how the unraveling situation is affecting them so as to provide help and assistance where possible as well as raise concerns at all forums.
The patriarchal values embedded in Pakistani society places more value on men with consequently women being ignored in relief efforts also. We have reports from Barkhan district in Baluchistan where of the 12 dead, 11 have been women. One more issue is the increasing number of missing women and children. They are neither dead nor accounted for, so the big fear is that they have been kidnapped!
We have started dispatching relief goods and will continue to do so subject to money available. We have already developed a food coupon system whereby we distribute food on presentation of a food coupon."
Our support in Pakistan puts women and girls first. We work with local groups who have on-the-ground experience, and who have proven their effectiveness, accountability and commitment to the communities they work with. Your donation today will enable us to support the women and girls of Pakistan - in ensuring that they are protected and have a voice in rebuilding their lives.
Regional Program Director
Asia and Oceania