Several factors contribute to the burden of daily life in the affected areas

Double suffering for women stricken after Turkey earthquake

A woman stands shocked among the rubble of collapsed buildings in Hatay. AFP

In a small women's clinic – a container set up in a park in Antakya in southern Turkey – patients on Dr. Günpeci's shelf find everything they would not dare to ask for abroad.

Women's clothing, personal hygiene products, treatments for local infections, pregnancy tests. Care that does not require a hospital visit and little attention.

Grief, stress, lack of hygiene items and overcrowding in tents and makeshift homes are all contributing to the daily lives of women in areas affected by the February 6 earthquake, which killed more than 46,6000 people in the south and southeast of the country, in addition to <>,<> in Syria.

The Turkish Medical Association created the "clinic" where Dr. Günpeci receives women, an orange container with a cardboard banner in a park between two sections of the destroyed city: ancient Antioch, which has been reduced to rubble on one side and rows of modern buildings on the other, still standing but threatened, near the Orontes River.

She is a 33-year-old forensic doctor who welcomes women who have lost everything: home, memories, personal belongings and find themselves forced to live in overcrowded spaces with limited access to bathrooms and toilets.

"In three days, I saw three pregnant women in shock. When I asked them if they felt the baby's movement, they realized they hadn't thought about it. They faced death and destruction, they forgot the fetus, after a month they barely remember their condition."

Daily burden

Silver Buyukils, 28, a volunteer from an association, said: "The situation is difficult for everyone, but women face great difficulties from the beginning and bear the full burden of daily life on their shoulders."

The young woman, who is also an earthquake survivor, adds: "They wait patiently from the morning for food distributions, cook and take care of children and the elderly, while washing dishes and clothes."

The post-quake shock situation reinforces a "strong sense of insecurity", she said, noting that "women feel responsible for the family situation and fear a new earthquake with each tremor (more than 13,<> tremors in a month) and the atmosphere. "Living in tents and lack of privacy make them feel safe."

The post-earthquake trauma situation fosters a strong sense of insecurity, women feel responsible for the family situation, and fear a new earthquake with each tremor.