Gender Imbalance After the Tsunami

In times of crises or disasters, all individuals, organizations, and governments should hasten to help and aid the victims by all possible halal (lawful) means. There should be some sort of coordination of all efforts aiming at guaranteeing the safety of women, children, and the elderly.

Dr Zainab Al-Alwani, instructor of fiqh and Islamic studies, Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences, states the following: Some of the services that can be done are:

1. Educating women in different areas and helping them to build different skills so they will be able to support themselves and their families.
2. Establishing a support system within the community so they can work together and help each other, provide care groups for children, and know the needs of each family. For each group there should be a leader who would be responsible for contacting institutions or relief organizations to inform them about the needs of that group of families.
3. Taking care of the health of women, children, and the elderly. There should be groups of doctors and nurses to study and analyse the situation and help them according to their needs.
4. As these are emergency situations, the governments and relief organizations should establish a security system to guard the tents or the areas where women live so that they can be protected against any possible harassment.
5. Muslims in Aceh should establish a system where they can help women get married and have someone at home to take care of them.
6. Muslims from outside Aceh should build different organizations and institutions to facilitate marriage or at least for women moving from one area to another.