Decolonizing Disaster: A Gender Perspective of Disaster Risk Management in the United States-Affiliated Pacific Islands

Citation:

Anderson, Cheryl Lea. 2005. “Decolonizing Disaster: A Gender Perspective of Disaster Risk Management in the United States-Affiliated Pacific Islands.” PhD diss., University of Hawai'i.

Author: Cheryl Lea Anderson

Abstract:

This dissertation explores disaster risk management from a gender perspective in the US-affiliated Pacific Islands where several methodologies from feminism, postcolonialism, and disaster research are placed in conversation. This conversation illuminates elements in the design of risk management policies, programs, and projects that create inequities revealed in disaster. Gender analysis becomes tied to understanding local culture, social conditions, and power related to risk management. This research reveals that few women participate in formal risk management organizations, yet women are participants and leaders in informal risk management activities that contribute to disaster mitigation. The overall structure of disasters and disaster management programs has emerged from the dominant political system, and has been overlaid on island communities. The results of this system alienate marginalized voices from the risk management process, devalue women's work, and ultimately result in continuing colonization through disaster management programs and policies. By increasing awareness of the social inequalities in risk management, it will be possible to engage in risk reduction planning with communities that sets up a process of dialogue between the formal and informal risk management sectors. Attention to the roots of disaster and the process of risk management can help build resiliency to deal with crises.

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Americas, North America, Oceania Countries: United States of America

Year: 2005

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