Informal settlements anywhere in the world are dangerous places, especially for women. Forced to sleep in a crowded wooden shack surrounded by men, women’s needs and dignity can be forgotten. Going out at night alone is forbidden by culture and no safe: The camp is dark and lawless; Smugglers and opportunists lurk in the shadows. Rape is a real threat and the shame it brings can be even worse.
An undignified bucket in the corner of your shack is humiliating when your co-inhabitants are male; even if there was room for it. Every inch of space is precious in these shacks. Children are restless sleepers and a bucket can be kicked over in an instant.
To preserve some dignity for these ladies who have already suffered so much, we offer a small piece of privacy by providing female incontinence pants for nightwear when needed. It’s not ideal. It’s expensive and it’s a short-term solution but they are discreet and offer a safer option. They are requested by the women themselves and we listen to their voices. We give them some choice and control in their lives.
We urgently need supplies of these for the Women’s Centre at Dunkirk. Just one weeks’ supply for the women in the camp costs €350.