Women Leaders in Building Disaster Resilience

Women Leaders in Building Disaster Resilience is a two-hour forum hosted and sponsored by ARISE-Philippines in cooperation with SM Cares and Resilient.PH. In keeping with this year’s National Women’s Month theme #WomenMakeChange, the forum focuses the spotlight on several women leaders from the private sector who have contributed to pushing for policies, projects, and programs that contribute to building national and community disaster risk reduction and resilience.

The forum brings to the fore voices of recognized women leaders in DRR to inspire all women to step up and help drive community and national disaster resilience that is sustainable, equitable, and inclusive. It aims to encourage more women to take an active role in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience.

During disasters, women are in a disadvantaged position for a variety of reasons. This is partly due to the fact that many of the policies, programs, and protocols on disaster response and recovery lack sensitivities around caring for women victims of disasters. Case in point are sexual harassment and other gender challenges in evacuation centers and resettlement sites.

On one hand, women in communities who are traditionally left to manage the household are in a very strong position to influence attitudinal changes among their family members. Women in the communities can be an effective network for driving disaster risk financing or disseminating factual information about health outbreaks, disaster risks, climate change, etc.

There are women leaders and experts who are taking the lead in making significant contributions in addressing the challenges experienced by women during disasters. Significant women leaders in DRR have a vital role in influencing policies, programs, and plans for disaster mitigation, prevention, preparation, response, and recovery. Their presence ensures such programs and policies are developed and implemented so that women are protected and empowered.