Strong coordination and cooperation among organizations is imperative for protection of women’s rights in emergencies

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

LOMBOK, West NusaTenggara, 25 October 2018: Women’s rights organizations in Lombok agreed to forge stronger networking to optimally address gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian response and to conduct joint advocacy efforts for better inclusion of women’s rights in development.

In general, public awareness on women’s rights is still low and protection of women’s rights, including for GBV prevention are often overlooked, especially in emergency settings.

However, there are opportunities and community fora to use to further advocacy on GBV elimination and women’s rights in both in emergency and development.

“We need to change our approach to address persisting challenges. All organizations should work in synergy, actively carrying out their respective roles to really benefit women and GBV survivors and, as situation improves, we need to work together to foster public awareness on women’s rights and gender issues,” said Provincial Office for Social Affairs

While acknowledging that capacity of activists, service providers, counselors to work in humanitarian settings is still lacking, Lulu from Sekolah Perempuan, an NGO working for women’s empowerment, said that organizations can do identification of needs and challenges in emergency situations and later can follow up to inform policies on women’s rights both in emergency and provincial development.

Improving support for GBV survivors, from filing a report (to the police) to facilitating access to services so that survivors can lead a normal life – should be central. “The flow of services should be made less complicated and more efficient,” said Mustiadi from the Integrated Center for Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (P2TP2A).

The Women's Empowerment Unit of the Provincial Office for Social Affairs organized a 3-day seminar on sensitization of standard procedure for GBV prevention in emergency with UNFPA support. It was attended by 50 participants from various women’s rights organizations. At the end of the seminar, the participants formed a Forum for Protection of Women’s and Child Rights and developed a set of recommendations to be submitted to Provincial Development Planning Agency (Bappeda).