Gender and Hurricane Mitch: Reconstructing Subjectivities After Disaster


Cupples, Julie. 2007. “Gender and Hurricane Mitch: Reconstructing Subjectivities After Disaster.” Disasters 31 (2): 155-75.

Author: Julie Cupples


Much of the gender and disaster literature calls for more gender-sensitive disaster relief and research by focusing on the ways in which women are more vulnerable in a disaster or on their unique capabilities as community leaders or natural resource managers, which are often overlooked or underutilised in emergency management strategies. As well as seeking to overcome the (strategic) essentialism that is part of these calls and debates, this paper pays closer attention to gender identity and subjectivity as these are constructed and reworked through the disaster process to highlight the complexities and contradictions associated with women's responses to a disaster. This focus, while crucial to gaining a deeper understanding of the gendered dimensions of disaster, also complicates attempts to create more gender-sensitive frameworks for disaster response. It draws on qualitative research conducted with a number of women in the wake of Hurricane Mitch (1998) in Nicaragua.

Keywords: development, disaster, Gender, Hurricane Mitch, Nicaragua, Subjectivity

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2007

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at