Statement: Asian Forum On Women In Disasters
Chennai, December 16-18, 2006
We, 60 representatives of government and non-government organisations and aid agencies involved in the tsunami relief and reconstruction efforts, from India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand gathered in Chennai, India, on December 16-18, 2006, to share the results of the Survey of Women’s Human Rights Violations in the December 2004 tsunami aftermath in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand and in the aftermath of the October 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
With a deep sense of anguish we realise that 2 years after the December 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, affected women continue to face violations of their human rights. Specifically,
- Women’s right to adequate housing is violated.
- Women’s right to work and employment is restrained by inappropriate assistance for livelihood that removes women from their traditional occupation.
- Violence against women has been increasing in temporary shelters.
- Women’s ownership right to land and property is violated.
- Discrimination based on caste, ethnicity, migrant status, occupation, religion and political affiliation exacerbates sufferings of women tsunami survivors.
- The armed conflict situation in Sri Lanka and Aceh exacerbates the sufferings of the tsunami affected communities and inhibits the reconstruction process.
In the light of the above, we express our grave concern about lack of consultation with the people, especially women, affected by the tsunami in the reconstruction process. We have formulated detailed Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Disaster Management for all actors involved in relief and reconstruction to ensure that:
- Emergency relief supplies include women’s specific requirements, such as menstrual, pregnancy and postnatal needs
- Women have access to sufficient and adequate foodequitable, transparent and respects human dignity
- Women’s equal access to compensation payments and rehabilitation measures
- Women’s access to information on relief and rehabilitation measures
- Women’s participation in decision making processes for rehabilitation and reconstructionand in management of camps and temporary shelters ,including the distribution of aid and reconstruction of houses
- All disaster-affected people have access to adequate shelters
- Women’s access to adequate toilet and bathing facilities
- Women’s access to free health care services, including informed reproductive health care and psycho-social counselling
- Security and safety of women and children from violence and abuse
- Head of Household Concept is eliminated and assistance is provided on individual basis
- Children’s access to education
- Women’s equal ownership rights to land, house and property
- Women’s equal access to livelihood opportunities
- Women’s awareness of their Human Rights is rais and to mobilise and empower women to advocate for their Human Rights
- Protection of vulnerable and marginalised groups: Dalits, migrant and sex workers, sea gypsies and stateless people, widows and women headed households, disabled and elderly
- Protection of Women victims of disasters and armed conflict situations
Government and non-government organisations must ensure adequate funding for implementation of gender sensitive disaster management
Chennai, December 16-18, 2006
The Asian Forum on Women in Disasters was organised by APWLD (Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development) and hosted by SRED (Society for Rural Education and Development), APWLD member based in Chennai.
Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Disaster Management
For further information, Please contact :
Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
189/3 Changklan Road
Chiang Mai 50100
Tel: (66) 53 284527, 284856
Fax: (66) 53 280847