During their 16 Days of Activism campaign, run from November 25 to December 10, 2017, the United Nations has been looking at the impact of Hurricane Irma on Barbudan households, in particular those headed by women
During their 16 Days of Activism campaign, run from November 25 to December 10, 2017, the United Nations has been looking at the impact of Hurricane Irma on Barbudan households, in particular those headed by women.
The Red Cross found that over 400 Barbudan households were impacted by the climate disaster and its aftermath, with over half of these run by a female head of the family.
Following the disaster in September 2017, the entire island was evacuated and displaced.
Acting Executive Director of the Directorate of Gender Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda, Farmala Jacobs, has emphasised the importance of implementing sustainable development and a national gender mechanism that assesses the real impact of crises on men and women, including women’s increased risk of experiencing violence.
Her office has been working with the Ministry of Social Transformation, UN Women and the Central Emergency Relief Fund, to ensure a gender-responsive approach to hurricane recovery.
During the 16 Days of Activism, the organisations worked on raising awareness in Antigua and Barbuda of the reporting and referral procedures for gender-based violence.
More than 40 shelter managers are to be given training on the knowledge and skills needed to be able to refer survivors to relevant services.
Jacobs advocated the participation of those affected in relief efforts, as Barbudans who were involved in the planning and distribution of services were found to be more likely to have access to and benefit from response efforts.
The fair representation of women on the Barbuda Council also helped to inform decisions on referral pathways, which mapped out the location of Barbudans and how they could access nearby shelters, Jacobs said.
Barbudan women typically have lower paying jobs and unequal access to resources and information, as well being more at risk of gender-based and sexual violence.
They are therefore especially vulnerable to climate disasters, as seen with the recent storms.
Jacobs said: “We cannot afford to leave anyone behind.
“By questioning what we can no longer afford to do and how we can achieve sustainable development collectively as a people, we will understand and then dismantle the systems that leave behind people in the first place.
“We can then envision and then build new futures, free of violence and equal for all people.”
Read More: UN Women and its global partners have organised a range of public events, as part of the campaign UniTE to End Violence against Women by 2030, which are taking place November 25 to December 10, 2017
Read More: Prime Minister of Commonwealth member state Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, addressed the Global Citizen Forum as keynote speaker in Montenegro on November 19, 2017, speaking on the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean