Legarda Chairs High Level Dialogue on Women’s Leadership in DRR at UN Conference in Sendai

March 14, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda chairs today the High Level Multi-stakeholder Partnership Dialogue on Mobilizing Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction, where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will deliver the keynote speech.


The event is one of the high level dialogues at the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan.


“Through this forum, we want to be able to contribute to making the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction a document that would not only urge nations to mobilize women’s leadership in DRR, but also guide them on how this commitment could be effectively carried out,” said Legarda, who will deliver the opening statement (please see attached speech) and summarize the forum’s discussion points in a set of recommendations.


The Senator stressed that stereotypical gender roles have no place in the critical fight against disaster risk and climate change.


“It is time we take action by putting women at the forefront of disaster risk reduction efforts. Women are not victims. They constitute a formidable ‘first line of defense’ against disaster risks. We must acknowledge their capacity to get involved, decide, take action, and lead,” she said.


Legarda, a three-term Philippine senator who sponsored the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 and authored the Climate Change Act of 2009, as well as several laws on women empowerment, explained that by empowering and allowing women to become part of disaster risk reduction and management efforts, we address the risks they face.


She added that the Post-2015 framework to the Hyogo Framework for Action should be “a tool towards a dramatic shift in the degree and scope of women’s involvement in climate change and disaster risk reduction efforts—from the quiet but steady work they perform at their communities, women should move into the frontlines of delivering decisive action towards a sustainable and resilient planet.”


Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs Sanae Takaichi will co-chair the high level dialogue. Panel members include Tarja Halonen, Former President of Finland; Emiko Okuyama, Mayor of Sendai; Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for Budget and Human 
Resources; Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP); Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and Adi Vasulevu Merewalasi of FemLINKPACIFIC, a Pacific Islands regional feminist media network based in Fiji.