Women acknowledged for their role in TC Winston response
Recognizing the critical role of women in their families, communities, and the nation is important and must not be overlooked. This was the sentiments of the Australia High Commissioner, Margaret Twomey during a morning tea at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence earlier this morning. Women, of course, are a huge part of what keeps communities […]
April 14, 2016 12:18 pm
Recognizing the critical role of women in their families, communities, and the nation is important and must not be overlooked.
This was the sentiments of the Australia High Commissioner, Margaret Twomey during a morning tea at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence earlier this morning.
Women, of course, are a huge part of what keeps communities together. Today, I want to recognize the critical role of women in their families, communities and indeed the nation. Sometimes this goes unrecognized and a lot of the work women do is thankless and invisible..
This morning’s gathering is to thank you for the excellent work you are doing to ensure that no one is left behind and that assistance reaches those most in need.
Minister for Women, Hon. Rosy Akbar also extended her appreciation to the women.
I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for the marvellous work you have all been doing.
Those working in the Cluster acknowledged at the same time national, community and social support systems are often weakened during the times of these crises. They took into account the fact that increased risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse escalates during times conflict and natural disasters and that women and girls are particularly vulnerable. With a scarcity of security, food, power, light and shelter these resources suddenly become a commodity and one which perpetrators can easily exploit.
We are well aware of the thousands of women, girls and children who took shelter at the Evacuation centres. Figures reveal that approximately 28,000 women were at the Evacuation centres. We also know from our UN partners that there were approximately 1600 pregnant women in the affected areas.
High Commissioner Twomey said that women suffer the most during a disaster.
We know that women and girls bear a double burden following a disaster, facing not only deprivation of basic needs such as food, clean water and shelter but the threat of violence including sexual violence and abuse, which increases in emergency situations.
We are working with the Fiji Muslim Women’s League to provide kitchen kits to households and dignity packs to women and adolescent girls, Medical Services Pacific to boost the capacity of their mobile clinical team to reach women in remote areas of Vanua Levu with lifesaving services, the Catholic Women’s League to provide family relief kits to 800 households and Femlink Pacific and ActionAid Australia to undertake protection assessments and document the experiences of women during and post disaster.
High Commissioner Twomey also announced that they will be working closely with the UN women in providing seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment to the market vendors.
It also gives me great pleasure to announce that, in partnership with UNWomen, we will provide over 1,500 market vendors (over 70 per cent of whom are women) with seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment. This will enable them to get their businesses back up and running following TC Winston.
Through its $23 million humanitarian assistance package to Fiji and its ongoing bilateral aid program, the Australian Government is working with the Fiji Muslim Women’s League, Medical Services Pacific, the Catholic Women’s League, Femlink Pacific and Action Aid Australia and UN Women.
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