World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Assistance must include leadership by Solomon Island women

10 April 2014

Humanitarian assistance must include leadership by Solomon Island women

The Pacific Island Forum’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Reference Group says leadership by women's groups in planning and delivery of humanitarian assistance can ensure the protection of women and girl’s rights during this state of natural disaster in Solomon Islands.

Their call is in line with existing gender commitments in the region, including the Pacific Regional Action Plan on Women Peace and Security and the Pacific Leaders’ Gender Declaration.

“Disasters, whether natural or man-made, pose a major security threat to women and girls in these situations,” says Ethel Sigimanu, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, Solomon Islands. “The situation that Solomon Islands is currently facing is placing a huge demand on women's roles in all dimensions making them even more vulnerable. Many of them are placed with their families in evacuation centres and now totally dependent on the State to provide for their needs.”

While the Group recognises the Solomons Island Government’s effort in rebuilding the nation, it also asked that all stakeholders involved in the disaster relief efforts ensure women and girls’ rights are considered.

“In humanitarian emergencies and disaster situations we need to ensure that women and girls have access to health services, psychosocial and legal support and protection,” says Dr. Laurent Zessler, UNFPA Director and Representative. UNFPA staff on the ground report that there are 30 pregnant women identified in 5 evacuation centers, one of whom is a person with a disability. With scarce access to water and minimal infrastructure for privacy, women and girls’ vulnerability increases.

“We also need to value the fact that women play crucial roles during times of disasters and should be recognised as equal partners in disaster response and post-disaster reconstruction.” Women’s organisations have been at the forefront of response efforts, reaching into their networks to support communities in evacuation centers and to provide support to the internally displaced.

Last week, torrential rain swept through the Solomon Islands leaving a trail of disaster in its wake. Following disastrous flash floods, landslides and strong winds, the country is faced with disruptions to infrastructure, risks of outbreak of diseases amongst other challenges, pushing victims of the floods towards more devastation, especially where women and girls are concerned.

Background information
The Women, Peace and Security Reference Group comprises three Forum Member countries: the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea; a CROP agency, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community; the United Nations Development Program; and regional civil society organisations FemLink Pacific and Leitana Nehan Women's Development Agency.. The Group is supported by three technical Advisers and is chaired ex-officio by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news