Beyond Men and Women: A Critical Perspective on Gender and Disaster

Citation:

Gaillard, J.C., Kristinne Sanz, Benigno C. Balgos, Soledad Natalia M. Dalisay, Andrew Gorman-Murray, Fagalua Smith, and Vaito’a Toelupe. 2016. “Beyond Men and Women: A Critical Perspective on Gender and Disaster.” Disasters 41 (3): 429–47. doi:10.1111/disa.12209.

Authors: J.C. Gaillard, Kristinne Sanz, Benigno C. Balgos, Soledad Natalia M. Dalisay, Andrew Gorman-Murray, Fagalua Smith, Vaito'a Toelupe

Abstract:

Consideration of gender in the disaster sphere has centred almost exclusively on the vulnerability and capacities of women. This trend stems from a polarised Western understanding of gender as a binary concept of man—woman. Such an approach also mirrors the dominant framing of disasters and disaster risk reduction (DRR), emphasising Western standards and practices to the detriment of local, non-Western identities and experiences. This paper argues that the man—woman dichotomy is an insufficient construct with which to address the gendered dimensions of a disaster as it fails to capture the realities of diverse gender minorities in non-Western contexts. The paper presents case studies from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Samoa, where gender minorities display specific patterns of vulnerability associated with their marginal positions in society, yet, importantly, also possess a wide array of endogenous capacities. Recognition of these differences, needs, skills, and unique resources is essential to moving towards inclusive and gender-sensitive DRR.

Keywords: capacity, disaster, gender identity, gender minorities, vulnerability

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania Countries: Indonesia, Philippines, Samoa

Year: 2016

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.