In Pakistan, religious prohibitions are increasing the death rate among women and children. Eighty-five percent of homeless individuals after the flooding are women and children. However, Muslim tenets prohibit women from receiving aid from males — leaving them in some cases to choose between starvation if they avoid the aid or possible beatings if they are seen accepting the aid from male aid workers.
More than 2,000 persons have already died and 20 million are displaced or in economic peril.
Relief workers are reporting an increase in rapes and abuse of homeless women. The relief is being scooped up by men, particularly when women are warned not to interact with male relief workers. This leaves it up to the children to try to grab the food. The article below quotes 12-year-old Shahid Muhammed saying, “When food is distributed the strongest young men grab it for their own families and push us children aside.”