Celebrating role of women in disaster reduction

Oct 19, 2012

Dili – Timor-Leste marked the International Day for Disaster Reduction with a seminar attended by 500 people.

The seminar educated women and girls about disaster reduction and included a side exhibition of public awareness raising materials and tools such as posters, disaster maps, CDs, a quiz and role-play activities.

“Women and children often become victims of disasters because they stay at home especially in rural areas where they live in very vulnerable conditions. It is critical for youth and university students to learn from studies conducted on disaster risk and to take this forward for building a more resilient future for Timor-Leste,” said Vice Prime Minister Fernando Lasama de Araujo in his opening speech.

Timor-Leste experiences many natural hazards such as landslides, drought and heavy rain.

These have an impact on people's lives, property and assets. Women’s efforts to protect and rebuild their communities before and after disasters are often unrecognized.

“Women face greater risk of injury and death and must have a central role in disaster risk management, including communicating the risks of disasters to family members and accessing early warning systems and climate resilient housing,” said acting UNDP Country Director, Noura Hamladji.

The seminar was organized by the National Directorate of Disaster Management in the Ministry of Social Solidarity with support from UNDP, Red Cross Timor-Leste, Plan International, World Vision, Save the Children and Oxfam.