Designing for Disaster

A female-led approach to regenerative displacement camp design. 

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As climate change disasters increase, large portions of the world’s populations will be passing through disaster displacement camps over the course of the next few decades.

The infrastructure and mechanisms of displacement camps result in high levels of violence against women and girls, and are often hotbeds for rape, sexual harassment, and human trafficking.

A large percentage of this violence is exacerbated by the way the camps are designed, which rarely include women’s actual needs for survival and safety. 

Three primary areas challenge the health and safety of girls and women in disaster displacement camps:

MENSTRUAL HYGIENE Poor menstrual hygiene education, limited access to menstrual products and lack of privacy to administer to menstruation needs significantly increases risk of violence, both within families as well as community violence. Women often avoid using camp toilets because of shame or stigma, while access to basic community facilities is restricted by distance and isolated locations.
MENSTRUAL HYGIENE

Poor menstrual hygiene education, limited access to menstrual products and lack of privacy to administer to menstruation needs significantly increases risk of violence, both within families as well as community violence. Women often avoid using camp toilets because of shame or stigma, while access to basic community facilities is restricted by distance and isolated locations.
PHYSICAL SAFETY Women's and girls' inability to secure themselves, and their lack of knowledge of means and methods of self-protection, makes their position more vulnerable in disaster situations and displacement camps, and exposes them to both domestic and community-based violence and sexual exploitation. In addition, human trafficking also increases as the vulnerable population of young girls and women are not in a position to safeguard themselves.
PHYSICAL SAFETY

Women’s and girls’ inability to secure themselves, and their lack of knowledge of means and methods of self-protection, makes their position more vulnerable in disaster situations and displacement camps, and exposes them to both domestic and community-based violence and sexual exploitation. In addition, human trafficking also increases as the vulnerable population of young girls and women are not in a position to safeguard themselves.
NEGOTIATION When male members of a family die or become disabled during any natural calamity, the burden is assumed by women, with women suddenly in the position of having to act as the man of the house, a role for which they are not prepared, and are often ashamed for behaving like men. Masculinized control of resources and responsibilities forces women into roles for which have little tools to navigate, leaving them vulnerable to further abuse.
NEGOTIATION

When male members of a family die or become disabled during any natural calamity, the burden is assumed by women, with women suddenly in the position of having to act as the man of the house, a role for which they are not prepared, and are often ashamed for behaving like men. Masculinized control of resources and responsibilities forces women into roles for which have little tools to navigate, leaving them vulnerable to further abuse.

Safety and hygiene for women and girls require a higher bar for support. When design is focused for these groups, everyone benefits.

We’re creating a blueprint for a cost-controlled, sustainable and regenerative emergency shelter solution focused on the needs of women and girls. 

We are a team of women working across several disciplines within humanitarian- and social impact sectors joining forces to formulate a focused set of concrete actions uniting our diverse areas of expertise to deliver the tools and technology to innovate design as solution.

Our work prioritizes community engagement and the voices of direct stakeholders in key decision-making positions as the natural stewards of local environments affected by climate change.

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Anjum Malik

SUCCESS

Anjum is a social scientist, an implementation strategist, serving as Communications Lead for the EU-funded SUCCESS Programme in Sindh, and part of the Rural Support Programmes Network (RSPN) in Pakistan. Anjum has an MA in Sustainable Cultural Heritage, and is a specialist in intersectional, multi-stakeholder project design and management.

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Saba Khalid

AURAT RAAJ

Saba is the founder and CEO of Aurat Raaj, a social enterprise from Pakistan that creates interactive and engaging technology products and services to educate and entertain girls on health, hygiene and safety. Saba’s digital initiative “RAAJI”, an AI-powered chatbot, educates girls on menstrual health and hygiene, pregnancy, STDs and consent.

Sara Kolata

Architect

Sara Kolata is an architect and digital strategist, working in both corporate and nonprofit sectors. She is also founder of TribeLAB, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and learning from tribal communities through sustainable design. 

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Susie Kahlich

Pretty Deadly Self Defense

Susie is founder of Pretty Deadly Self Defense, a women’s empowerment program through self defense. She is certified in DV trauma support, and has worked with Bildungsstätte für Migrantinnen und Flüchtlinge, and Berliner Landesjugendring.

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Yasmine Guerin

Negotiatress

Yasmine is founder of Negotiatress, an initiative providing women tools for negotiation. Yasmine is a certified mediator, with Masters in Conflict Research, Management and Resolution, with additional degrees in Economics and International Relations.

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Marci Otranto

OECD

Marci holds Master’s degrees from The American Graduate School in Paris in International Relations and Diplomacy and from the Université Paris-Sud in Strategic Negotiations and Diplomacy. Marci is Deputy Operations Manager and Event Planner for the OECD.