GBV is a life-threatening protection issue primarily affecting women and children. All humanitarian actors have a responsibility to take action from the earliest stages of an emergency to prevent GBV and provide appropriate assistance to survivors. (IASC Guidelines for Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, 2005).
On 28 August, children and women carry their belongings on their heads
as they wade throuhg knee-deep floodwater in Baseera, a village in Punjab Province.
Residents are returning to their homes as the floodwaters recede.
The recent devastating floods, have caused significant damages to human life, livestock and property. Massive displacement, poor living conditions, overcrowding in camps and lack of privacy, disruption of social networks and social norms and destruction of health and other support facilities have significantly exacerbated the already-acute vulnerabilities of women and girls particularly to experience sexual and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV). Police, legal, health, education and social services are disrupted; families and communities are separated. Against tradition, young boys and girls are sleeping in common spaces, women are in contact with men who are not their relatives, and mothers are forced to walk alone in search for firewood and other cooking materials. Compounded with the mass displacement, the destruction of homes and livelihoods, separation of families and the limited access to basic hygiene items, particularly sanitary supplies, women and children are at great risk of GBV in the flood-affected regions of Pakistan.
In this context the GBV Sub-cluster aims to address both immediate humanitarian service delivery needs and action to prevent and respond to GBV, as well as longer-term development of services, systems, and structures to protect the affected population from GBV, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of women and girls. The Sub-Cluster hopes to institutionalize existing GBV mechanisms, enhance them with global good practice, and help take them to scale. The GBV Sub-cluster will work closely with and build upon the platform established by the Gender Task Force, recognising its good work efforts through its existing presence in country.
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