Pacific women shut out of disaster management - advocate
By Christine Rovoi
Fiji-based Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls said despite being some of the first responders, women were more often than not regarded as vulnerable beneficiaries in official strategies.
As a result, she said, official decisions failed to factor in the diverse needs and interests of half the region's population.
"The system is not always including them in the decision-making structures or you might only have one or two women, and even then sort of relegated to 'okay look, let's look after protection'."
That needed to change, she said, in the support and the resources allocated to support local women leaders to organize and engage in everything - from disaster preparedness and early warning to response and recovery.
In the Solomon Islands, Ms Bhagwan-Rolls said, they had dedicated spaces for women in their disaster management reform which enabled women to participate in decision-making.
Women could also utilise the technical expertise available to influence disaster management reform.