Social Vulnerability, Gender and Disasters. The Case of Haiti in 2010


Llorente-Marrón, Mar, Montserrat Díaz-Fernández, Paz Méndez-Rodríguez, and Rosario González Arias. 2020. "Social Vulnerability, Gender and Disasters. The Case of Haiti in 2010. Sustainability 12: 3574.

Authors: Mar Llorente-Marrón, Montserrat Díaz-Fernández, Paz Méndez-Rodríguez, Rosario González Arias


The study of vulnerability constitutes a central axis in research work on sustainability. Social vulnerability (SV) analyzes differences in human capacity to prepare, respond and recover from the impact of a natural hazard. Although disasters threaten all the people who suffer from them, they do not affect all members of society in the same way. Social and economic inequalities make certain groups more vulnerable. Factors such as age, sex, social class and ethnic identity increase vulnerability to a natural disaster. Ten years after the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, this work deepens the relationship between natural disasters, SV and gender, exploring the unequal distribution of the SV in the face of a seismic risk. The source of statistical information has been obtained from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), developed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Multicriteria decision techniques (TOPSIS) and the differences in differences (DID) technique are used to analyze variations in gender inequality in SV as a result of the catastrophic event. The results obtained reinforce the idea of the negative impact of the disaster on the SV. Additionally, an intensification of the negative effects is observed when the household is headed by a woman, increasing the gap in SV between households headed by women and the rest of the households. The conclusions obtained show additional evidence of the negative effects caused by natural disasters on women, and important implications for disaster risk management are derived that should not be ignored.

Keywords: social vulnerability, gender, natural disasters, sustainability, inequality, Haiti

Topics: Age, Class, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Ethnicity, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2020

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