How Women Survivors of The Indian Ocean Tsunami Organized for Equality

Illustration for article titled How Women Survivors of The Indian Ocean Tsunami Organized for Equality

On the tenth anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami that killed over a quarter of a million people, Al-Jazeera has filed a report about its effect on women survivors in the coastal regions of South Asia where the tsunami hit hardest. Government relief efforts gave second priority to helping women in favor of men, yet women were still bearing responsibility for keeping home and hearth together. As a result, interviewee Samundeeswari, of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, helped found the National Coastal Women's Movement in an effort to get them the help they needed.

The Al-Jazeera report focuses on how the NCWM blossomed from a small community effort to 10,000 members, and how once it completed its goal of helping women pull their lives back together post-tsunami, it also empowered some women to leave physically abusive and/or alcoholic husbands and live a better life on their own.


It's a short but inspiring video, and finds some small bit of hope in the tragedy that destroyed so many villages and killed hundreds of thousands of people in mostly Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. Since 2004, the NCWM has organized and lobbied for equal rights for fisherwomen, created actions (and officially formed) around the Indian movement Act Now on Violence Against Women, and signed actions for social and global protections in conjunction with the Green Climate Fund.

Read more of Al-Jazeera's 10-year tsunami coverage here, and another profile on Samundeeswari here.

Image via screenshot.

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