ActionAid Australia is working with local partner, FemLINK Pacific, to promote a gender inclusive humanitarian response to Cyclone Winston in Fiji.
Together we are working to ensure the diverse voices and priorities of women, particularly those from rural and vulnerable communities, to inform the nationwide humanitarian response. As two out of three women in Fiji already experience violence, protection of women and children and the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence is an important priority, as well as ensuring the equal participation of women in the humanitarian assistance agenda.
What we know so far:
- The cyclone is estimated to be one of the most severe ever to hit the South Pacific
- 49 people have been confirmed dead
- 350,000 people affected - 170,000 are women
- Whole villages have been destroyed on the island of Koro where a relief and assessment ship is being deployed
- A 30 day State of Natural Disaster has been declared and international assistance has officially been requested.
With your support, ActionAid and FemLINK Pacific are collaborating to ensure that:
- local women’s rights organisations are resourced in the immediate humanitarian response and longer term recovery process
- that community media-based information and communication systems are strengthened as part of the Women's Weather Watch project
- ensure that women in affected communities have access to information on the humanitarian response, and that their voices contribute to decisions made about relief distribution and recovery effort
The Women's Weather Watch
Weather Watch is a model for monitoring approaching storms and disaster management in communities, providing real-time information and shining a light on the continually overlooked area of the involvement and consultation of women before, during and after natural disasters.
FemLINK PACIFIC campaigns for the inclusion of women in all aspects of disaster preparation, management and rehabilitation.
The Women’s Weather Watch campaign demonstrates the vital role that community media, in particular community radio plays to ensure information on weather patterns and forecasts are reaching communities away from main centres and because the women are often responsible for the management of their families, evacuation strategies must be gender inclusive, particularly to ensure the safety and protection of women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly.