Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Role of women critical in disaster resilience

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Nicola Roxon MP
    Minister for Emergency Management

Women and girls are being recognised as the unsung heroes of local communities in preparing for, and recovering from disasters on this year’s International Day for Disaster Reduction.

The United Nations has declared that in 2012, the theme “Women and girls – the (in)visible force of resilience” will reinforce that women and girls are powerful agents of change.

“Women make a valuable contribution to our communities during times of crisis,” Attorney-General and Minister for Emergency Management, Nicola Roxon said.

Women play an important role in all aspects of emergency management – from front-line recovery and operational decision making to long-term national policy development that will shape Australia’s future resilience.

This year’s Women and girls theme is the perfect opportunity to say thank you to those women who are working as we speak to prepare their communities for the upcoming disaster season.

“One of the key messages of the National Strategy for Disaster Resilience recognises that connected communities are resilient communities – and women and children strengthen community connectedness,” Ms Roxon said.

“The Australian Government is committed to supporting initiatives that highlight and promote the role of women in disaster preparedness,” Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins said.

The National Women’s Alliance Program has received Government funding for two important projects due for completion this year.

The National Rural Women’s Coalition will release Weather the Storm – Developing disaster resilient rural communities, a toolkit that helps women in remote communities take the lead on disaster preparedness.

The economic Security4Women Alliance is also developing a report to look at the economic impact of disasters on women. The report – Voices from the Flood Plains – uses disaster affected areas in Queensland and Victoria to discuss the specific needs of women in recovery.

“Both these projects recognise the unique role that women have to play in preparing for and recovering from disasters, and today is a good opportunity for us to reflect on just how important that role really is,” said Ms Collins.