A House for a Daughter? Constraints and Opportunities in Post-Tsunami Eastern Sri Lanka


Thurnheer, Katharina. 2009. “A House for a Daughter? Constraints and Opportunities in Post-Tsunami Eastern Sri Lanka.” Contemporary South Asia 17 (1): 79–91. doi:10.1080/09584930802624687.

Author: Katharina Thurnheer


The tsunami of December 2004 caused massive human suffering and physical destruction. In its aftermath, images of helpless victims dominated public opinion and contributed to the generation of resources for the reconstruction of the affected areas. Critics soon pointed to another tsunami, this time in the form of global aid sweeping away local capacities. However valid these objections, they paid little attention to the ways in which the recipient women and men made use of the aid in both strategic and more subtle forms of self-positioning. This article aims at a contextualized description of post-tsunami processes and asks how external interventions interacted with local agendas. Gender relationships in particular are seen as informing both intervention models and local coping processes, and of being themselves in constant transformation within a wider frame of social change.

Topics: Economies, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Humanitarian Assistance Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Sri Lanka

Year: 2009

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