As we’ve pointed out many times on this blog, there are women-specific impacts of environmental disasters. Given the enormity of the Pakistan flooding, those impacts are particularly stark. Via MADRE,
That the overwhelming impact of the floods on Pakistani women is largely invisible in the media, however, is no claim to its nonexistence. So far, According to the Reproductive Health Response in Crises Consortium (RHRC), 85 percent of those displaced by the flood are women and children. In the aftermath of the floods, Pakistani women and children continue to face monumental hardships in an already conservative society. Overcrowding and flimsy tents force women and girls to bathe and sleep in close proximity to unrelated males. For women who have lost sons and husbands in the floods, they are offered little protection under conditions that already constrain women’s freedoms.
An added element to the hardships Pakistani women are now facing? An estimated 500,000 pregnant women are currently in their second or third trimesters. Of these, 100,000 women are due to give birth in the next month – most of them in crowded shelters unfit for childbirth, not far from stagnant and disease-ridden waters. As UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan Martin Mogwanja aptly stated, “This disaster has affected almost 18 million people. We don’t want it to also affect half a million babies who are not born yet”.
While we don’t usually post information multiple times, because of the severity of the situation, here again are links to some of the organizations working in Pakistan or doing resource mobilization to support relief efforts there with particular sensitivity to women-specific needs:
- Shirkat Gah: http://www.shirkatgah.org/news.php?id=202
- Aware Girls: http://awaregirls.webs.com/contactus.htm
- Global Fund for Women: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/6174/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=2574
- Madre: https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5095/donate_page/pakistan
- Women’s Learning Partnership: http://www.learningpartnership.org/en/partners/pakistan/flood-relief