“As part of our regular activities, we assist the most vulnerable villagers, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, and women with high-risk pregnancies in our areas,” explains Siti Juwariyah, a 35-year-old member of her local Women’s Group for Empowerment and Family Welfare (known in Indonesia as “PKK”).
Fathimath Afiya is chairperson of the Maldivian Network for Empowering Women (MNEW), which was established as an informal network during the Action Aid International (AAI) work in the aftermath of the tsunami in 2005, thereafter registered officially in 2012. She was involved in the Tsunami Management Team of AAI’s Rehabilitation in 2014 that was focusing on providing assistance to women.
While climate change threatens livelihoods and security across the board, women and girls commonly face higher risks and greater burdens from climate change, particularly when they are living in poverty. Climate-related disasters also hit women hard, often due to restrictions on their mobility and access to information. Women’s unequal participation in decision-making and access to resources and information compound other inequalities and often prevent them from fully contributing to climate-related planning, policy-making and implementation.
Understanding better how women are affected by disasters, economic shocks and other crises is key to helping their communities ride out pressures including climate change, a top resilience expert says.
But putting them in the driver's seat to deal with the problems is equally crucial, she said.
Sundaa Bridgett-Jones, senior associate director with The Rockefeller Foundation, said women are often resourceful in finding ways for their families to bounce back from disasters.