WOMEN SURVIVING DISASTER
During times of conflict and disaster, women have very different experiences as they focus on not just their own survival, but the survival of their families and their communities as well.
Crises often hit women’s livelihoods hardest, in part because they tend to work more in informal sectors – farmers lose their crops and livestock, seamstresses lose their worksites and machines, and many other livelihoods are lost alongside a families home and their possessions. This makes it difficult for women to earn a living and rebuild their homes after experiencing disaster.
Studies have also found that due to women’s roles as care-givers, during natural disasters they are more likely to make sacrifices for the well-being of their families. This includes eating less food and becoming malnourished, or carrying their children long distances so they don’t have to walk. Women in disaster have to make impossible decisions like fleeing their home, leaving their possessions, and doing whatever it takes to survive.
After disaster, all forms of violence against women increase.
Women experience higher death rates, are more impoverished, and often have less education. In times of disaster, this makes women more vulnerable, and issues of inequality are increased.
90% of women have experienced gender based violence in crisis settings. Women and girls face heightened risk due to displacement and the breakdown of normal protection structures and support. More than 80% of countries experiencing conflict and natural disasters, are also facing issues of gender inequality that are only heightened during these disasters.
ShelterBox is focused on helping families who need us most – this means we prioritize helping vulnerable persons and communities. Shelter helps provide women and children protection and privacy, along with other items like solar lights. We provide emergency aid so that women and their families can start rebuilding their homes, and their lives after disaster.
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