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Humanitarian Assistance

Gender, Disaster and Development: The Necessity for Integration

Citation:

Fordham, Maureen. 2003. “Gender, Disaster and Development: The Necessity for Integration.” In Natural Disaster and Development in a Globalizing World, edited by Mark Pelling. London: Routledge.

Author: Maureen Fordham

Abstract:

Gender, disaster and development have traditionally been treated as separate categories within academic disciplines and in terms of professional practice. Workers and researchers only rarely transfer knowledge between them and yet each group could contribute much to the others. However, it is increasingly being recognized that these elements must be brought together to improve understanding and practical action. When disasters occur, they bring with them a convergence of external help focused on providing immediate relief and quickly returning the community to ‘normality’. In doing so, they can overturn long-term development programmes; the ‘tyranny of the urgent’ (BRIDGE 1996) can drive out gender and other fundamental social issues, or relegate them to a lower priority. Similarly, many development programmes are planned and undertaken without ensuring they do not exacerbate hazardous conditions or make people (and particularly women) more vulnerable to disasters. (Taylor & Francis)

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance

Year: 2003

Gendered Violence in Natural Disasters: Learning from New Orleans, Haiti and Christchurch

Citation:

True, Jacqui. 2013. “Gendered Violence in Natural Disasters: Learning from New Orleans, Haiti and Christchurch.” Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work 25 (2): 78–89.

Author: Jacqui True

Abstract:

Why are women so vulnerable to violence and death as a result of disaster compared with men? This article investigates how global environmental forces in the form of natural disasters from floods, droughts and famines to earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes affect women and men differently. Disasters are known to have direct and indirect impacts on gender-based violence particularly against women and girls, revealing a pattern of heightened violence and vulnerability in their aftermath. These gendered impacts are directly relevant to social work theory, practice and advocacy, which seek to promote social well being and to prevent violence in homes and communities during and in the aftermath of disasters. The article argues that women’s unequal economic and social status relative to men before a disaster strikes determines the extent of their vulnerability to violence during and after a crisis. If gender-based violence and women’s particular needs are not addressed in disaster preparedness, disaster recovery plans and humanitarian assistance, then women and girls’ vulnerability will increase. The article offers some lessons based on primary research of responses to the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes against the backdrop of what we know about the responses to an earthquake of similar magnitude in Haiti in 2009. It draws implications from this research for social work theory, practice and advocacy, highlighting the importance of ensuring that future disaster planning and decision making is gender-sensitive.

Keywords: canterbury earthquakes, christchurch earthquakes, disaster, women, gender, haiti earthquake, violence, disaster planning

Topics: Economies, Economic Inequality, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance, Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries, North America, Oceania Countries: Haiti, New Zealand, United States of America

Year: 2013

Women in Disasters and Conflicts in India: Interventions in View of the Millennium Development Goals

Citation:

Bhadra, Subhasis. 2017. “Women in Disasters and Conflicts in India: Interventions in View of the Millennium Development Goals.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Science 8 (2): 196–207.

Author: Subhasis Bhadra

Abstract:

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with their holistic perspective of development are focused on different issues of vulnerability. This article highlights the situation of women in disasters and the challenges in achieving the MDGs with special reference to India. It is accepted that there is no disaster without human engagement and that issues of differential impact on genders is an essential consideration for recovery. The international guidelines on disaster management and intervention have a considerable focus on gender equality, balance, mainstreaming, and sensitive programing, yet the situation is quite grim. India still lacks separate policy guidelines on gender aspects in disaster. In the twenty-first century, India has witnessed a series of disasters in different parts of the country. The author’s personal experiences of working in intervention programs of these disasters showed that gender vulnerability depends on various factors like the intensity of the disaster impact, local sociocultural perspectives, effective disaster intervention strategies, the specific focus on issues of women in training of personnel, and gender-sensitive disaster intervention programs in the community. In the context of the MDGs, while development has become a priority concern to end age-old inequalities in society, the added challenge of disasters needs considerable focus on gender inequalities to achieve the goal of gender equity.
 

Keywords: Disaster intervention strategies, gender inequalities, gender vulnerability, India, Millennium Development Goals

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Gender Equity, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2017

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.

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, DRR, Disasters, gender and development (GAD)

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

Year: 2012

Women in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Southern Coastal Region of Bangladesh

Citation:

Alam, Khurshed, and Md. Habibur Rahman. 2014. “Women in Natural Disasters: A Case Study from Southern Coastal Region of Bangladesh.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 8 (1): 68–82.

Authors: Khurshed Alam, Md. Habibur Rahman

Abstract:

Natural disasters are frequent phenomena in the coastal regions of Bangladesh, causing significant damage to the coastal community and environment. The present study was conducted in southern coastal region of Bangladesh with the aim to explore women's preparedness, risk and loss, cultural and conditional behaviour, adaptability and recovery capacity from the natural disasters. During disaster a kind of functional disorder gets created where women had to face challenges different from men. Women have to face loss of livelihood opportunities, deprivation from relief materials, sexual harassment and enjoy little scope of participation in any response or management activities. Likewise, they also suffer from inverse care law after disaster. Contrary to that, disaster also creates a condition to accrue diverse positive and constructive impacts including women's transformative role which often do not get reported. Disaster leads the planners to follow not merely the compensatory principle but also restoration and augmentation principles which give more benefits to the low income group of the coast. Nevertheless, in the coast the higher is the loss of property, the lower is the tendency among the dwellers to invest which has a long-lasting effect on capital formation and social development.

Keywords: disaster warning, environmental hazard, disaster preparedness, disaster gain, coping strategy, recovery capacity

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2014

Natural and Man-Made Disasters: The Vulnerability of Women-Headed Households and Children Without Families

Citation:

Sapir, Debarati Guha. 1993. "Natural and Man-Made Disasters: The Vulnerability of Women-Headed Households and Children Without Families." World Health Statistics Quarterly 46 (4): 227-33.

Author: Debarati Guha Sapir

Abstract:

Since 1980, over 2 million people have died as an immediate result of natural and man-made disasters and by 1992, the refugee population registered nearly 16 million people. This article reviews the human impact of disasters as a composite of two elements: the catastrophic event itself and the vulnerability of people. It also examines the specific case of women and children in the current world emergency context. It identifies four broad policy areas that affect women and children in disaster situations and discusses them with examples and field evidence. The first policy area addresses humanitarian assistance and armed conflicts, and armed conflict and international humanitarian law, the use of food as instrument of war, mines and civilian disability, and rape and sexual violence are discussed within this context. The second problem discussed is the issue of unaccompanied and abandoned children in terms of its magnitude and implications for relief response. Thirdly, the article examines the differential risks in emergencies for mortality and morbidity, specifically for women and children. Finally, it addresses certain policies and approaches to disaster rehabilitation which effectively mirror and reinforce inherent inequities in the affected society. The article notes that: (i) the largest proportion of disaster victims today arise from civil strife and food crises and that the majority of those killed, wounded and permanently disabled are women and children; and (ii) the ability of any country to respond effectively to disasters depends on the strength of its health and social infrastructure, and its overall developmental status. It concludes by identifying seven areas where concrete measures could be taken to improve the current situation.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Humanitarian Assistance, International Law, International Humanitarian Law IHL, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against women

Year: 1993

Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development

Citation:

Pandey, Shanta. 1998. “Women, Environment, and Sustainable Development.” International Social Work 41 (3): 339-55. 

Author: Shanta Pandey

Annotation:

Summary:
“In developing countries, poor populations, especially women and children, are disproportionately concentrated in ecologically degraded, fragile, and marginal lands (Durning, 1989). A wide range of development programs have been launched to promote social and economic development of rural areas. These programs are in the form of reforestation, irrigation and drinking water improvement, innovative farming techniques, primary health care facilities and health education, and training and human capital development. People’s participation, especially women’s, in these development programs is crucial for their success. Much has been written on the failure of states and development projects to engage rural people, especially rural women, in these rural development initiatives (Mayoux, 1995). This paper reviews several case studies conducted in Nepal and identifies some of the factors that contribute to the participation of rural people, especially rural women, in forest resources management programs. The paper also discusses social workers’ role in promoting participation and sustainable development” (Pandey, 1998, 339).

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Humanitarian Assistance, Infrastructure, Energy, Transportation, Water & Sanitation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 1998

How Women’s Concerns Are Shaped in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh

Citation:

Ikeda, Keiko. 2009. “How Women’s Concerns Are Shaped in Community-Based Disaster Risk Management in Bangladesh.” Contemporary South Asia 17 (1): 65–78. doi:10.1080/09584930802624679.

Author: Keiko Ikeda

Abstract:

This article elaborates on how concerns regarding gender in community-based disaster risk management are shaped through interaction between local agents of development and communities in Bangladesh. As women and men have different experiences in disaster, gender concerns should be fully addressed by the community and integrated in the action they take up to reduce disaster risks. The term 'local agents of development' refers to individuals engaged in implementation of development policy in their own community. Recent trends in community-based disaster risk management policy seek what is called a 'whole community approach' engaging various stakeholders such as traditional village elite, 'local civil society' and leaders of community-based organizations - mostly poor villagers supported by non-governmental organizations. Within the context of the historical evolution of community development approaches in Bangladesh, this is quite new in terms of bringing together traditional leaders and poor target groups including women's groups. By drawing from the experience of women and focusing on the functioning of local agents of development during the flood of 2004, the author aims to assess the gaps between the primary concerns of women and those taken up in the risk-reduction action, to see whether, why, and when they have widened or been bridged.

Keywords: disaster management, gender, participation, local elite, Bangladesh

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Men, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance, NGOs, Political Participation Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

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

A Grounded Theory Investigation Into the Experiences of African Women Refugees: Effects on Resilience and Identity and Implications for Service Provision.

Citation:

Sherwood, Katie, and Helen Liebling-Kalifani. 2012. “A Grounded Theory Investigation Into The Experiences Of African Women Refugees: Effects On Resilience And Identity And Implications For Service Provision1.” Journal of International Women’s Studies 13 (1): 86-108.

Authors: Katie Sherwood, Helen Liebling-Kalifani

Abstract:

The current study aims to explore African women’s experiences of violence during conflict. The research was undertaken in 2009 in part fulfilment for a Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology. Previous research on women refugees’ experiences has focused on the negative impact on psychological functioning despite indications that they show great strength and resilience. Using qualitative methods the study sought to identify the impact of violence on mental health as well as develop a greater understanding of the roles of resilience, coping and identity. Women from Somalia and Zimbabwe who attended a refugee centre in the UK were interviewed; analysis of the results identified a relationship between resilience, access to rights and support and identity. It also recognised cultural and societal influences and experiences in the United Kingdom as contributing factors. Findings support the move toward a more holistic model of understanding refugee women’s experiences. However, the study also reveals the importance of support and treatment assisting women to utilise their resilience in reconstructing their identities from traumatic events and recovery process.

Keywords: women, refugees, trauma, africa, gender based violence

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Refugees, Gender-Based Violence, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Humanitarian Assistance, Context-Appropriate Response to Trauma, Rights, Violence Regions: Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, Northern Europe Countries: Somalia, United Kingdom, Zimbabwe

Year: 2012

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