This year, March 8th, had a different and deeper meaning for women in Türkiye. Since the earthquakes struck southeastern Türkiye on February 6th, people in Türkiye are going through the biggest disaster in the history of the country. Thousands of people lost their lives, the ones who survived lost their loved ones, homes and livelihoods. The recovery will take years and the Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG) is working tirelessly with its team and volunteers on the ground.
Volunteers are working at aid depots established in the earthquake zones in order to classify, store and distribute aid to the people affected by the earthquakes. Half of these volunteers are women and female volunteers play a vital role in distributing aid to everyone – especially to women and girls.
Women and girls are often hit hardest in disasters and a gender-sensitive disaster response and relief are crucial for a holistic recovery. As women are oftentimes, still to this day, put in charge of care-giving and household, the situation does not change after any disaster. In this case, women are still providing care for their families and their relatives in the tents, cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children, and men are responsible for receiving aid boxes. However, usually men are not accustomed to women and girls’ needs and oftentimes women and girls have difficulties in asking for their needs when the aid provider is a man. For this reason, specific needs and priorities of women are often unmet in disasters. But indeed, having female volunteers in disaster efforts empowers women. In this way, women can more easily express their own needs and feel that they are being taken care of. Therefore, as TOG, we pay great attention to deploy female volunteers in the region to provide aid and care for everyone and this year, on March 8th, we celebrated the women’s pivotal role at the forefront in disasters as in all areas of life together with our team and volunteers.
For more information and if you’d like to contribute to our cause, please contact Gökçe from our team: email@example.com