US House of Representatives to Nepali women and girls: We shall protect you

15 May 2015 11:10 AM AEST: Amid rising concerns for women and young girls who risk being preyed upon by human traffickers in the apocalyptic post-disaster situation in Nepal, a resolution promising support and protection for the vulnerable group has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

US Congress
US Congressman Mike Honda. Photo Courtesy: US House of Representatives website.

The resolution introduced on May 12, has 17 co-sponsors including the very involved Congressman Mike Honda.

The resolution pledges that “the United States should work with the Government of Nepal to ensure that the unique needs, vulnerabilities, and capacities of women and girls are considered and addressed in efforts to provide humanitarian relief and assistance in reconstruction in the aftermath of the April 25, 2015, earthquake,” a press release by the Congressman’s office said.

Stating the April 25 and May 12 earthquakes as ‘unbelievably tragic’, Congressman Honda asserted that his country must ‘make a full and prioritized commitment to help protect women and girls in our relief and recovery assistance in Nepal’.

A total of 8309 people including Western travellers have lost lives due to the two major earthquakes, southasia.com.au’s Nepal correspondent Krandan Chapagain said citing National Emergency Operation Centre in Kathmandu.

“Too often in times of natural disasters and conflict, women and girls are the most vulnerable to the dangers of human trafficking, sexual exploitation,” he said, stressing his country needed to play a role in the protection and empowerment of women and girls in the post-disaster reconstruction and development efforts.

Christine Hart of Women Thrive Worldwide pointed out that every time there is a natural disaster, it is the women and children who ‘constitute the majority of deaths. “They face gendered challenges and vulnerabilities including inequitable access to resources like food and shelter; increased risk of gender-based violence, and a lack of access to educational and livelihood opportunities in displacement and post-disaster settings,” she warned through the same press release.

The other House Representatives and Delegates who co-sponsored the resolution are Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Judy Chu, Del. Madeleine Bordallo, Rep. James McGovern, Rep. Barbara Lee, Del. Stacey Plaskett, Rep. Al Green, Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, Rep. Maxine Waters, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Jared Polis, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Charles Rangel and Rep. Alan Grayson.

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