Engendering Development and Disasters


Bradshaw, Sarah. 2015. “Engendering Development and Disasters.” Disasters 39 (s1): s54–75. doi:10.1111/disa.12111.

Author: Sarah Bradshaw


Over the last two decades the different impacts of disasters on women and men have been acknowledged, leading to calls to integrate gender into disaster risk reduction and response. This paper explores how evolving understandings of ways of integrating gender into development have influenced this process, critically analysing contemporary initiatives to ‘engender’ development that see the inclusion of women for both efficiency and equality gains. It has been argued that this has resulted in a ‘feminisation of responsibility’ that can reinforce rather than challenge gender relations. The construction of women affected by disasters as both an at-risk group and as a means to reduce risk suggests similar processes of feminisation. The paper argues that if disaster risk reduction initiatives are to reduce women's vulnerability, they need to focus explicitly on the root causes of this vulnerability and design programmes that specifically focus on reducing gender inequalities by challenging unequal gendered power relations.

Keywords: disaster, feminisation of responsibility, gender, men, women, vulnerability

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender

Year: 2015

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