Women and LGBTI+s disproportionately affected by post-earthquake conditions

Many women have trouble accessing hygiene products, toilets, and reproductive health facilities in southeastern Turkey hit by two major earthquakes. LGBTI+s have been also facing difficulties accessing temporary housing, healthcare, and transportation in the aftermath of the quakes.

Duvar English

From the first day onwards, women disproportionately have trouble accessing hygiene products, underwear, reproductive health facilities, and even toilets in the earthquake zone, according to reporting by Deutsche Welle.

LGBTI+ organizations also stated that the community has been facing difficulties in the communal areas in the earthquake regions and accessing healthcare. They also said that LGBTI+ individuals are having a hard time in transferring to safe zones. 

There are 214,325 pregnant women in the earthquake zone, and 23,814 of these women are expected to give birth within a month.

In Adıyaman, there is no systematic healthcare facility for reproductive health, and women give birth in mobile services established by health professionals. Nonetheless, the province’s doctors also died in the earthquake.  

A volunteer stated that most of the women bleed due to stress, yet they do not have access to either hygienic peds or clean underwear. Also, they cannot express their needs such as pads when there is no woman on duty because they feel ashamed.

Additionally, most of the women have trouble using the toilets (provided that they exist) because they are not suitable or clean. It is especially dangerous for women during their menstrual cycles.

On the other hand, LGBTI+ and sex worker organizations formed a coordination group for the community members in the earthquake zones because they do not feel welcomed in collective shelters and aid distribution. 

According to the coordination’s press release, people who receive hormone therapy and live with HIV do not have access to the medicine that needs to be taken every day. 

Also, the community members have trouble receiving aid because they encounter hostile attitudes during the distribution. Same problems occur during transportation as they try to leave the earthquake zone. 

As of Feb. 13 morning, the death toll from devastating earthquakes rose to 31,643, with the number of injured standing as 80,278.