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Promoting Women's Rights and Resilience in Emergencies in the Philippines

The Philippines is exposed to a high risk of recurring disasters, so it is critical that communities are prepared for and supported to reduce risks associated with any future disasters.

ActionAid Australia and their local partner National Rural Women Coalition (PKKK) work together across three regions of the Philippines to build the resilience of the most vulnerable women and ensure that women's rights are protected in emergencies.

This support includes reducing the risk of violence against women in emergencies and ensuring communities are better prepared to respond to future disasters and place women's needs and voices at the centre.

With ongoing support under the Australian NGO Cooperation Program, they also established the Women in Emergency Network (WENet).

The 30 women's organisations belonging to WENet undertake training in women's rights and protection, and build their knowledge of preparedness plans and disaster risk reduction strategies. They are also supported to hold national policy dialogues on prioritising and financing women's rights and resilience in emergencies.

In 2020, PKKK and WENet have responded to the pandemic and to three super typhoons. They used text messages (SMS) to send out vital public health information and updates on COVID-19 and tropical storms to help keep hard to reach communities safe. Wherever possible, they have assisted network members with pocket WiFi, so they can access more information online.

This project puts women at the front and centre of disaster preparedness and response, respecting their local expertise and demonstrating what is possible when women are supported to lead.

WENet members at the first National Womenitarian Summit in 2019. They look forward to meeting again
WENet members at the first National Womenitarian Summit in 2019. They look forward to meeting again. Credit: ActionAid Australia
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