International Day for Disaster Reduction Underscores Importance of Women and Girls

International Day for Disaster Reduction - 13 October 201212 October 2012: The UN commemorated the International Day for Disaster Reduction (IDDR) on 13 October 2012, under the theme of “Women and Girls: The [in]Visible Force of Resilience,” which sought to highlight the need for women and girls to be at the forefront of reducing disaster risk and managing disaster responses.

In a message delivered to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon notes that women and girls are using their roles within families and communities to strengthen disaster risk reduction (DRR). He underscores that as climate change intensifies, so does the need for women across the world to take on leadership roles in DRR efforts.

Also in celebration of the Day, the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) honored Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra as a leading woman figure in disaster management, in acknowledgement of her role in managing the Government of Thailand's response to severe flooding across the country in 2011.

In a press release issued for the Day, UNDP underlines that 2011 was the most expensive year on record for natural hazards, with 106 million people affected by floods, 60 million by drought, and almost 30,000 people killed as a result. UNDP stressed that every dollar spent on preparing for disasters saves around seven dollars in economic losses, underscoring that investing in disaster preparedness before a natural hazard occurs reduces the need for humanitarian action. [UN Secretary-General Statement] [UNISDR Press Release] [International Day for Disaster Reduction Website] [UNDP Press Release, 13 October 2012] [UN World Food Programme Press Release] [UNDP Press Release, 12 October 2012] [UN Press Release] [Op-Ed by UNISDR Head]