The Express Tribune
Published Date: Jan 31, 2021
Migrant women more exposed to harassment
Vulnerable migrant women must be included in the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) to enable them to receive support through national and local social safety schemes such as the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.
This was stressed by the speakers during a workshop titled ‘Climate-induced migration in Pakistan,’ arranged by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in Islamabad on Saturday.
The purpose of the workshop was to create awareness among journalists reporting on climate change. It was attended by a group of Islamabad-based journalists.
Highlighting the importance of NSERR, SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri explained to the participants that the women who were forced to migrate due to climate change faced several issues ranging from a lack of access to health and education, insufficient availability of food and evacuation to bonded labour.
“The provision of safe shelters, medicines, food and water during disasters should be the top priority of the government,” Dr Suleri added, with a particular reference to vulnerable migrant women.
Maryam Shabbir Abbasi, an environmentalist at working with the SDPI, stressed the need for a gender-responsive policy for climate-induced female migration. She said women faced issues of harassment and rape during disasters, asking the government to take pre-emptive measures to protect the women.
She also highlighted the plight of pregnant women during the disaster and trauma they go through due to a lack of access to healthcare services.
The participants of the workshop highlighted several pertinent issues regarding the topic and presented a way forward based on the research recently conducted by the SDPI in collaboration with the Climate Action Network South Asia (CANSA), as part of the South Asia Migration and Climate (SAMAC) project.
The project ‘Improving Migration Management in the Silk Routes Countries’ is funded by the European Union through the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
Meanwhile, with 11 points improvement, SDPI was ranked 90th among 100 non-US global think tanks and retained its first position in Pakistan for the last many years, and with improvement of four points it ranked 11th among the South East Asia and the Pacific region, according to the 15th edition of University of Pennsylvania Global Go To Think Tank Index (GGTTI) released across the world.