Tuesday was a busy day. At 8.45am at CCUN level 8, APWW held a forum looking at gender is disaster affected areas. Each speaker had 7 minutes to speak and all presentations were engaging and informative. I was interested to hear that in Japan, for example, post disaster, women have actually had more success when it comes to acquiring new skills and employment as they are more willing to learn new, appropriate skills to adapt to the new society. One issue that was raised however, that in any future crisis, women’s skills need to be better utilised, to ensure a more streamlined relief process. For example, rather then handing out pre cooked food to women in relief centres, the cooking skills of women in these centres should be better utilised to allow for healthier, fresher, more nutritious foods to be available for all those people seeking assistance.

Some issues that several speakers raised included economic recovery , particularly among the self employed and casual workers. Many women fall within these categories and they include many small businesses. After disaster, many women found that they lost entire client bases as people no longer have a dispensable income to afford certain services. However, it was very uplifting to hear about the ways women have adapted to these circumstances, the resilience of these women is truly inspiring.

That evening we went to the Asia Pacific caucus meeting to discuss the wording of the Asia Pacific submission. We broke into sub regions so that everyone could examine the draft statement and ensure that all concerns were addressed (as much as can be in a 3 minute submission!) Going through the submission line by line certainly displayed the importance of language in all submissions, and it also emphasised the different priorities of each sub region and the importance and responsibility each region has in ensuring that all views and issues are properly recognised.

All in all, Tuesday was a very busy, yet very educational and fulfilling day.