The Country Program Manager for ActionAid in Vanuatu, Flora Vano, believes that women can be on the frontlines of building a disaster resilient country. “In the aftermath of TC Harold, women are often excluded from decision-making on the approaches to response and recovery”, she says. “Their ideas and voices are drowned out by the louder voices of men.”
ActionAid is supporting disaster assessments carried out exclusively by women, through a network of over 4,000 women around the country. “Some of our women are dealing with six crises currently – COVID 19, drought, scarcity of potable water, and volcanic ash, acid rain and sulphur gas as we have several active volcanoes,” explains Flora.
“Each woman leader looks after three to four villages and in each village, the women convene their own sister circles. They communicate weather alerts in local languages so women can understand and take requisite action.”
Shifting the Power Coalition is a feminist network of humanitarian organizations in the Pacific region, committed to promoting women’s leadership and inclusion of disabled people in humanitarian action. Since 2016, the Coalition has brought together 13 organizations across six countries to ensure that women take their rightful place at the head of emergency responses, and that the needs of women, girls and vulnerable members of the communities are at the heart of these responses. The work of the Coalition is supported by a network of national focal points. Find out more about the Shifting the Power Coalition via Official Website or follow Facebook Page