What Women Do: Gendered Labor in the Red River Valley Flood


Enarson, Elaine. 2001. “What Women Do: Gendered Labor in the Red River Valley Flood.” Environmental Hazards 3: 1–18.

Author: Elaine Enarson


  • Drawing on narrative accounts from 115 informants in 14 group interviews, the paper explores women's disaster work at home, in the workplace, and in the community. A typology of ten forms of disaster work was developed to analyze the findings and encourage comparative research. Women's physical and socioemotional work in the household materially contributed to mitigation and reconstruction. Women were also “backstage” emergency responders in their professional roles in female-dominated occupations. These activities led some to collective and individual protest of social inequities arising during the flood. The findings were used to develop practical guidelines for more inclusive emergency planning and practice.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2001

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