In honor of International Women’s Day, we are featuring the ShelterBox SHE Campaign, an initiative piloted by our partner ShelterBox. In organizing this campaign, ShelterBox hopes to highlight the stories of women around the world who have received training to rebuild their lives in the face of crisis. In addition to recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women, the campaign sheds light on how women are disproportionately affected by disasters.
According to WHO Southeast Asia, women and children comprise 75% of refugees and displaced persons globally. In a particularly tragic World Bank citation explained by ShelterBox, four times as many women than men were killed in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, because men in affected areas were often taught how to swim and climb trees at young ages, while women were not. Social conditions that marginalize women and leave them vulnerable to begin with often increase the severity of challenges faced by women in times of disaster.
To combat these issues and help families in times of crisis, ShelterBox provides aid and supplies necessary “to create the framework for everyday life” through the distribution of large boxes and smaller kits. Shelter, tools, and utensils are customized to suit the climate, location, and individual needs of different communities affected by disaster.
Filling an essential role in ShelterBoxes, LuminAID solar lights have been deployed in over 19 countries for relief situations including earthquakes, floods, landslides, typhoons, and conflict. ShelterBox has described our solar lights as being especially pertinent to women, with increased visibility to help prolong the working day and improve the productivity of recovering families. A source of light later into the evening also allows families to socialize in their tents, providing a “safe space in which people can start to recover from physical and emotional trauma.”
To help further explain ShelterBox’s work and mission we had the opportunity to interview ShelterBox Response Team member Yi Shun Lai. Check it out below: