Urgency of safe flood shelters for women and girls

During any natural disaster like flood, women and children fall victim to sexual harassment. In a convention on social safety net program implementation policy at the CIRDAP, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki has addressed the vulnerability of the girls during flood.

She has asked the public representatives at local level to be more concerned about sexual abuse of girls at the local rehabilitation centers. The local representatives need to be more vigilant about protecting girls during this period. Unfortunately, the girls are not even protected at the home also.

Women and girls are the most vulnerable group during flood. The safety and protection of the girls are also needed to be maintained inside and outside of the community.

According to UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, 2010; women avoid to go to the shelters during natural disasters because of flood. The flood increases the vulnerability of women since they have to walk a long way which increases the risk of sexual violence. The pregnant women face lots of health complications due to lack of health services during flood. After the flood, drop out cases from the school also increase

Bangladesh has a comprehensive disaster management program, but those are not implemented properly during emergency case. In most of the time, the relief items and disaster control mechanisms are on the hand of the higher authority. The local management authority depends on decision of the central authority.

In order to reduce the violence on women and children during flood, gender specific policy needs to be formulated. Regional cooperation is essential to stop the violence.

Source: Daily Sun

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