Caught in the Storm: The Impact of Natural Disasters on Women


Chew, Lin, and Kavita N. Ramdas. 2005. Caught in the Storm: The Impact of Natural Disasters on Women. San Francisco: The Global Fund for Women.

Authors: Lin Chew, Kavita N. Ramdas


The authors offer an overview of the ways in which women are uniquely vulnerable during disaster recovery, before giving several remedial recommendations. Women face a variety of challenges: they are more susceptible to violence, do not receive adequate health care, are economically vulnerable, and are not given a say in reconstruction efforts. Thus, Chew and Ramdas state, the current male-dominated reconstruction systems are inadequate and even harmful to women. This can be fixed by allowing women to be involved in planning and decision-making. Women’s special needs should be taken into consideration, and efforts should be made to make them more self-sufficient and educated. The authors focus here on women's vulnerabilities rather than their accomplishments in the face of disasters, putting them in the stereotypical “victim” role. This is nevertheless a useful summary of the challenges that women face and the steps that can be taken to mitigate such challenges.

Topics: Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender Equality/Inequality, Humanitarian Assistance

Year: 2005

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