Open Mapping Hub, SL Red Cross Society partner to strengthen gender resilience against disaster

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By Elizabeth Kamara

The Open Mapping Hub for West and North Africa of the Humanitarian Open Street Map Team (HOT), in partnership with Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, has yesterday, 4th March, organised a scheme geared towards strengthening gender resilience against disaster.

The event took place  at the Swiss Hotel, Spur Road in Freetown.

In her opening statement, Madam Agnes Farma, from the National Disaster Management Agency, stated that disasters disproportionately impact women and girls who often face increased vulnerabilities due to social and economic inequalities. She underscored that worldwide, women comprise 52% of the population, yet represent 70% of all disaster deaths.

According to Farma, NDMA has 75 permanent staff with 17% of women staff, adding that such representation undermines the efforts of women in the disaster management sector.

Hawanatu K Koroma, Assistant Director, Ministry of Social Welfare, noted that the training is a step in the right direction as it helps the vulnerable groups across the country when it involves issues of disaster.  She explained that women are more likely to be displaced by disasters, to experience violence and exploitation, and to face barriers to accessing essential services.

Carter Triper, Senior Manager, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), commended everyone present for gracing the occasion. He indicated that according to data, there are several reasons women and girls are more vulnerable to disasters among which are, gender roles and responsibilities, knowing that women are often responsible for childcare and household chores, which can limit their ability to evacuate or prepare for disasters, as well as lack of access to resources and information such as early warning systems and disaster preparedness plans.

The event attracted staff from Gender Affairs Ministry, Red Cross, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT), ministry of Social Welfare, and female reporters.

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