Female Friendly Spaces in Post-Quake Nepal
Post-Earthquake Protection, Education and Empowerment for Women
Gender-based violence increases in emergencies because of the displacement of communities, absence of law and order, lack of adequate basic services, and the breakdown of social support networks. As a result, females of all ages need protection, support, and access to services in emergencies. Those from marginalized communities are increasingly vulnerable. 8,000,000 people were affected by the earthquakes in Nepal and 40,000 are females were at immediate risk of violence.
This project provides a roving Female Friendly Space (FFS) which travels to various post-earthquake camps in Nepal where women and girls can go to report incidences of violence, seek services, be referred to medical or trauma counselling, attend awareness workshops and feel safe. The FFS also provides activities for children and temporary shelter for women and girls. In emergency situations, violence against women and girls increases drastically, as well as harmful practices such as child marriage.
The roving FFS will bring awareness to the growing problem of gender-based violence within the camps through workshops and activities for women and children, an awareness campaign directed at all camp residents, and theatrical performances that shed light on violence against women. The space also serves a 24-hour place of protection and referral agency with gender-trained staff who refer females of all ages to health, legal and other services available to them through our collaboration with Apeiron Nepal, local Police and other local NGOs.
Each FFS targets the entire camp community, with a focus on women and girls. It decreases the risk of gender-based violence in the camps and increases access to services for female survivors of violence. It also reduces the stigma associated with sexual violence by providing females with human rights awareness and support, and by providing the whole camp community with education. Providing women and girls with education and access to services will empower them to protect themselves. Educating communities will reduce violence and bring awareness to human rights abuses like child and forced marriage.
Check out “CAMP SISTERHOOD”, a stunning photographic look at the FFS project in action. Photos by Mandy Glinsbockel.