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Inundaciones en Rio Grande do Sul: una mirada sobre las mujeres y el cambio climático

News item

Floods in Rio Grande do Sul: a look at women and climate change

IPPF ACRO Collaborative Partner Gestos points with concern to the emergency situation in Rio Grande do Sul, ravaged by severe flooding, which threatens the well-being and safety of women.

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Gestos expresses deep solidarity and concern about the current situation faced by the state of Rio Grande do Sul. We know that climate disasters disproportionately affect populations in situations of social vulnerability and these circumstances demand, more than ever, a watchful eye and firm gestures to guarantee rights. Based on the lessons learned, it is urgent to move towards the implementation of effective public policies that protect people in situations of humanitarian crises as intense as the one experienced these days in the south of the country.

Thus, it was with great indignation and concern that we became aware of the cases of sexual abuse of women displaced by the catastrophe in shelters, all of them under 18 years of age. As has been proven and documented in similar situations, what has happened raises the alarm that official complaints represent only a small fraction of the cases of harassment that have occurred.

Sexual violence related to climate events has long been documented and its prevention requires immediate attention from local authorities. It is widely known and has been discussed in various international spaces with data showing that humanitarian responses require a gendered approach, requiring protective measures to be put in place.

UN data already shows that women are 14 times more likely to die in climate disasters than men. There is no lack of evidence, but once again the attention of the public authorities to the situation of women has been lacking. This is unacceptable and the extreme vulnerability of women and girls to climate change has been highlighted by civil society organisations, including Gestos, and by different UN agencies in multilateral forums.

In times of tragedy, solidarity manifests itself, but there are also gaps for multiple violations. Reports from partners living in the state also indicate the neglect of the protection of people's sexual and reproductive rights, as well as episodes of transphobia, the breakdown of secrecy about HIV status and the adoption of segregating and stigmatising strategies during the crisis, such as the forced separation of people affected by tuberculosis in specific places.

Concern must go beyond the structural and material reconstruction of the state. It is urgent to allocate resources to develop a contingency plan capable of mitigating the impacts of the crisis on populations - impacts that are not yet measurable.


Gestos remains available to contribute in whatever way possible to strengthen this powerful network of support and solidarity. You too can contribute by consulting the list of serious partnerships that have made a difference in the lives of hundreds of people.


How to help:

Imagen con QR para procurar recursos para personas trans en la catástrofe campaña solidaria de apoyo para personas trabajadoras sexuales

Gestos is a Collaborative Partner of IPPF in Brazil. Since1993 they have effectively contributed to guaranteeing the human rights of people living with HIV and AIDS. They also help to form new civil society organizations, such as the National Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS (RNPVHA - 1995), the Positive Work Group - GTP+ (2000), the Group of Positive Actions (2003), the Group of Support to HIV Positive People (GASP) 2003, Acts of Citizenship (2006).

From 2007 to 2011, Gestos created and coordinated the UNGASS-AIDS Forum on Sexual and Reproductive Health, where it oversaw the implementation of agreements signed at the UN in sixteen developing countries. The UNGASS-AIDS Forum has established itself as a space for political debate on issues related to HIV and AIDS and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

They are also a consultative NGO at the UN, with ECOSOC status since 2017.





Americas & the Caribbean

Related Member Association

Gestos - Brazil