NARI Foundation Sukkur and Indus Consortium organized a “District Women Assembly”


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Government should cater to the needs of women in case of emergencies: Voices raised in women’s assembly . The disaster of 2022 has affected more than thirty-eight percent of Pakistan and displaced millions of people including 75000 pregnant women, most of them given birth to newborn babies in the unhealthy environment at the camps.

This posed risks to women and newborn children to complications in the deliveries and making them unsafe and vulnerable. Thus Government of Sindh should take into account women-specific issues at the makeshift places as well as during providing emergency response. This was demanded by flood-affected women of District Sukkur Sindh, in a women’s assembly jointly organized by the NARI Foundation Sukkur and Indus Consortium, participated by a large number of flood-affected women, including women leaders of Bar associations, local press club, government departments, CSOs, at Sukkur etc.

Ms.Zubeda a local community Worker social worker and flood affected woman who has been at the forefront of advocating for women’s rights in disaster situations, shared her firsthand experience during the assembly, stating, “Regarding the floods, the torrential rains in July 2022 were detrimental. I have personally witnessed the challenges faced by women in accessing relief and rehabilitation services during such disasters.

“Representative of Women Development Department Mr.Abdul Ghafar Thaheem District Officer Sukkur, and C fully endorses the Women Assembly’s demands, emphasizing women’s safety and protection during disasters.
These crucial demands align with future women’s needs during disaster to cacter the needs and to promote gender-inclusive approaches, ensuring access to WASH, food, shelter services, and support for women in times of crisis.
Representatives from CSO Chairperson NARI Foundation Ms.Afshan Asghar & Executive Director NARI Foundation Mr.Anwar Mahar said that empowering women and promoting gender-inclusive disaster risk management has a significant role to minimize the disaster impacts on women He/She expressed their dedication to continued collaboration to strengthen disaster preparedness and response efforts in the region.

Mr. Jamshaid Farid- Mr. Iqbal Hyder, Board member of Indus Consortium emphasized that “Pakistan faced the worst flood last year in August which affected the most vulnerable groups including women. He said “Preparedness is incomplete till it is not catering to the needs of vulnerable group in all phases of emergencies”. He said “Flood 2022 has pushed vulnerable groups especially women in deep-rooted poverty, destroyed their livelihood sources and made them more vulnerable.

He decided that Government should give ownership of newly constructed homes to women so that these women can be empowered. The testimonies of affected women were also presented in women’s assemblies.
A key highlight of the Women’s Assembly was the enthusiastic endorsement of the Charter of Demands by the attendees, which includes developing an appropriate early warning communication system accessible to women, Conducting rapid need assessments, and analysis with gender and social inclusion perspectives.

It further demanded, Implement an effective rescue system considering the gender needs of women, girls, and women with special needs (pregnant women, elderly, disabled), children, and other vulnerable groups. It highlighted the free Fair, Equitable, and Gender Sensitive Relief Distribution System, Ensure the provision of medical and reproductive health facilities at camps and in flood-affected areas, Ensure Women’s and Girls’ Safety and protection in Relief and disaster management phases, Establish and ensure that gender-sensitive complaint mechanisms and monitoring systems are in place and functional during disasters.

Furthermore, the charter demanded, to Protect of women’s livelihood resources and create opportunities to support them to rebuild their livelihood during relief and recovery, assist women in rebuilding the houses (including WASH facilities) damaged or destroyed during disasters, and take special measures for women to get entitlements to these houses, Prioritize the education of children, particularly girl’s education during disasters, implement gender-inclusive disaster risk reduction and management system at the provincial, district and UC levels as a long-term strategy.

To culminate the successful Women’s Assembly, the Sindh Declaration document received a resounding endorsement through the signing of a signature board by the enthusiastic participants. A large number of community women, government stakeholders, CSOs, Bar members, women leaders, and CSO representatives participated in the women’s assembly.

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