Women’s Empowerment for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Nepal

Citation:

Dhungel, Rajesh, and Ram Nath Ojha. 2012. “Women’s Empowerment for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Nepal.” Gender & Development 20 (2): 309–21. doi:10.1080/13552074.2012.687220.

Authors: Rajesh Dhungel, Ram Nath Ojha

Abstract:

English Abstract:
It is generally accepted that women overall are more vulnerable to disaster risk and have specific needs during a crisis. But in Nepal, social taboos and norms restrict women's freedom to express their needs to humanitarian workers in times of crisis, as these are normally strangers to the community deputed by humanitarian agencies or state agencies. These norms are deep-rooted in Nepal and other South Asian countries, and they increase the vulnerability of women to disaster risks, be they natural or man-made. In this context, starting in 2008, the Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian programme (DRR-HP) in Nepal has introduced Women's Empowerment as a key component of community-based disaster risk reduction interventions in different DRR-HP projects. Altogether, 42 Women's Empowerment Centres (WECs), each with 30 women participants, have been supported to lead DRR and emergency response work in their local communities. The WECs have become a successful way of reducing socio-economic and physical vulnerability in the community, as well as an important means of strengthening women's empowerment and leadership.
 
French Abstract:
Il est généralement accepté que les femmes sont globalement plus vulnérables face aux risques de catastrophe et ont des besoins particuliers durant une crise. Cependant, au Népal, les tabous et les normes sociaux limitent la liberté des femmes à exprimer leurs besoins aux travailleurs humanitaires en temps de crise, car ces derniers sont en général des étrangers pour la communauté, délégués par des agences humanitaires ou des organismes de l’État. Ces normes sont profondément ancrées au Népal et dans d'autres pays sud-asiatiques, et elles accroissent la vulnérabilité des femmes face aux risques de catastrophes, naturelles ou causées par l'Homme. Dans ce contexte, à partir de 2008, le Programme humanitaire et de réduction des risques de catastrophe (Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian programme (DRR-HP)) au Népal a introduit l'autonomisation des femmes comme un élément clé des interventions communautaires de réduction des risques de catastrophe dans différents projets du DRR-HP. Ce sont 42 « Centres d'autonomisation des femmes » (CAF) en tout, chacun comptant 30 participantes, qui ont été aidés à mener des activités de RRC et d'intervention en situation d'urgence au sein de leurs communautés locales respectives. Les CAF sont devenus un moyen efficace de réduire la vulnérabilité socio-économique et physique au sein de la communauté, ainsi qu'un important moyen de renforcer l'autonomisation et le leadership des femmes.
 
Spanish Abstract:
Se acepta por lo general que las mujeres son más vulnerables ante los riesgos de desastres y tienen necesidades específicas durante una crisis. Pero en Nepal los tabús y las normas sociales cohíben a las mujeres para expresar sus necesidades a los trabajadores humanitarios en momentos de crisis ya que a menudo las organizaciones humanitarias o agencias gubernamentales los envían pero son personas completamente extrañas para las comunidades. Estas normas tienen una larga tradición en Nepal y en otros países de Asia del Sur y aumentan la vulnerabilidad de las mujeres ante los riesgos de desastres, sean naturales o provocados por el ser humano. En este contexto, a partir de 2008, el Programa Humanitario de Reducción de Riesgos ante Desastres (DRR-HP por sus siglas en inglés) en Nepal incorporó el Empoderamiento de las Mujeres como un elemento clave en diversas acciones del componente Reducción Comunitaria de Riesgos ante Desastres (CBDRR). En total se han apoyado 42 Centros para el Empoderamiento de las Mujeres (CEM), cada uno integrado por 30 mujeres que realizan labores de DRR para enfrentar emergencias en sus comunidades. Los CEM se han convertido en recursos efectivos para reducir la vulnerabilidad socioeconómica y física en las comunidades y para fortalecer a las mujeres y sus liderazgos.

Keywords: Women's Empowerment Centre (WEP), Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), vulnerability, Nepal

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2012

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