Hearing their voices: the women and children in the earthquake affected areas of Pakistan

Hearing their voices: the women and children in the earthquake affected areas of Pakistan

Addressing issues faced by women and children in the aftermath of the Pakistan Earthquake

This report provides an insight, through interviews and observations, into the issues faced by women and children affected by the earthquake in Pakistan. It assesses the relief efforts to highlight the extent to which issues specific to women and children are being addressed in the camps and provide recommendations for their redress.

The report observes that the patriarchal culture of these communities exacerbates the difficulties faced by women and children affected by the earthquake, and that this situation is worsened by the fact that relief organisations have not specifically addressed women’s needs.

Specific problems identified include:

  • concerns for personal safety and limitations on women’s movements
  • lack of heating and fuel, which also contributes to environmental degradation
  • scarcity of clean water
  • increased workloads and loss of livelihoods
  • lack of participation in education
  • increased dependence
  • lack of latrines and health facilities for women
  • widespread disability, depression and anxiety
  • increasing domestic violence
  • abusive treatment by camp administrators
  • difficulties accessing compensation

The study recommends the following needs:

  • separate latrines and ensure women’s personal security
  • fuels for cooking and heating
  • clean water
  • restoration of livelihoods and training opportunities, including for disabled women and girls
  • strengthening of social networks between different groups within camps
  • schooling that can provide education, vocational skills and reintegration for children, as well as literacy programmes for adults
  • basic health facilities and facilities accessible by women
  • support for people with a disability
  • opportunities to engage people in camps in practical and recreational activities
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