WEHA Highlights, March – June 2023, No:1

On 6 February 2023, Türkiye was struck by two significant earthquakes. The earthquakes and more than 22,000 aftershocks caused catastrophic damage in the Southeast region of the country.
More than 50,000 people have lost their lives and over 107,000 people have suffered injuries.

Although earthquakes affect everyone in the earthquake area, the disproportionate impact on women and girls in all their diversity are significant. Women and girls faced preexisting inequalities before the earthquake, which have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian crisis. As shown by global lessons learned and evidence across earthquake natural disasters, and demonstrated in current assessments taking place in the earthquake impacted provinces in Türkiye, the experiences of women and girls following the earthquake are distinct and need for strengthened prioritization in humanitarian programming. Assessments illustrated the different priority humanitarian service needs of women and girls, and the specific challenges and barriers they continue to face in accessing information on available services, as well as accessing services; and their limited participation in the planning, implementation and monitoring of the humanitarian response, when compared to men and boys.

Efficient, equal and participatory humanitarian action can only be achieved by understanding and responding to the specific needs, priorities and capacities of diverse women, girls, men and boys in different age groups. Mainstreaming equality in humanitarian action is a pre-requisite for successful and sustainable humanitarian strategies and interventions. Moreover, women are change agents and they play critical role in the humanitarian action, as responders, community mobilizers and leaders.

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