📌Several women’s rights’ groups called for #solidarity with the female victims of Monday’s twin #earthquakes that affected some 13.5 million people in 10 of #Turkey’s provinces. @ekmekvegul @DayanismaMor#Deprem #Malatya #Adıyaman #Hatay #Feminists https://t.co/qtFfCmXY0b pic.twitter.com/9Ax78mhQz2
— MedyaNews (@1MedyaNews) February 11, 2023
Several women’s rights’ groups called for solidarity with the female victims of Monday’s twin earthquakes that affected some 13.5 million people in 10 of Turkey’s provinces.
“We will not forget those who left us to death,” the country’s feminist group We Will Stop Femicide said on Twitter, calling women to join the efforts.
Ekmek ve Gül (Bread and Roses) a prominent feminist website, said in a statement that they were trying to make the voices of their sisters heard in other parts of the country as well as abroad.
“Some of us are engaged in search-and-rescue work at the wreckages and in aid distribution… Some of us have been trying to collect donations in other places of the country,” said the group.
Ekmek ve Gül also shared worrying news concerning women coming from the earthquake-hit regions and shared a list of relevant demands, including security measures for female victims of looting and sexual abuse, solutions for women’s hygienic needs, updating of the aid lists by taking into account women’s specific needs like underwear and period products, and helping women who gave birth after the earthquake and who are breastfeeding.
The groups said they had received news that Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) had declined to allocate tents to women who are single parents.
The Women’s Coalition of Turkey also asked the government to remove obstacles preventing the works of women and LGBTQ organisations’ work in the earthquake area.
More Dayanışma (Purse Solidarity) has also mobilised women’s groups in different parts of the country to send and distribute humanitarian aid to female earthquake victims. An international call for support has also been made to raise funds necessary for earthquake relief efforts.
#Solidaritätskampagne „Lila #Solidarität“ für die Arbeit von Mor Dayanışma für die Menschen in den #Erdbebengebieten in der #Türkei: LabourNet Germany, re:volt magazine (@re_voltmag) und viele andere Unterstützer*innen rufen zu #Spenden auf! https://t.co/JS3P5mjp7g pic.twitter.com/zLhNQNSfjh
— re:volt magazine (@re_voltmag) February 11, 2023
Meanwhile, a tweet of an activist who mentioned the specific needs of women after the earthquakes went viral on Wednesday.
Based on her observations from the 1999 İzmit earthquake, activist and translator Serap Güneş noted that women do not only have specific needs but also specific problems after natural disasters.
One of those problems is the unwillingness of women caught by the earthquake naked or without a headscarf to ask for help when lying under the rubble. Following her comments, many users shared similar observations and experiences in previous earthquakes.
The gender-sensitive distribution of aid is also a problem as many women in earthquake-hit areas are wary of asking for period products from male workers.
Previous relief efforts worldwide show that women and girls are disproportionately and differently affected from disasters and have uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover. Women also face increasing levels of domestic violence and sexual abuse following natural disasters.
In Turkey’s south and southeast, the problems women face after disaster are further exacerbated as many Kurdish women who cannot speak Turkish might not be able to access relief efforts. In many provinces, Kurdish women whose husbands are in prison can also find themselves being excluded from social benefits.