Humanitarian response: Women encouraged to display leadership during disasters

30 female humanitarian responders participated in the week-long Oxfam's training


News Desk March 06, 2018
Karim Bux Jakhrani village in Kashmore is one of the areas that were badly affected by the floods over the last three years. Oxfam and Research and Development Foundation have stepped up to help rebuild the village. The women who live in the village, however, say something should also be done about the patriarchal set up under which they feel oppressed. PHOTO COURTESY: OXFAM

When disaster strikes, everyone is expected to respond, particularly women. Their inclusion and skills can play a critical role in the survival of their communities.

This was discussed as Oxfam in Pakistan, in collaboration with the National Humanitarian Forum (NHN) and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) launched a series of first-responder training, exclusively for women humanitarian workers. The training will help women take leadership roles in humanitarian efforts. Around 30 female humanitarian responders participated in the week-long training.

The launch also marked Oxfam’s part in the ‘Grand Bargain’ — an agreement between more than 30 of the biggest donors and aid providers to get more means into the hands of people in need.

“We promote women’s engagement as leaders in times of emergency, so that their voices are heard directly at all levels of decision-making,” said Oxfam in Pakistan’s Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash.

“These training will provide women with knowledge on women’s rights, leadership skills and disaster preparedness so that they are better equipped to lead their communities and know their rights in times of a humanitarian crisis.”

He went on to add that women bring vital skills, resources and experience to humanitarian response. They are among the first responders to a crisis, taking risks and playing critical roles in the survival of families and communities.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 6th, 2018.

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