Women and health consequences of natural disasters: Challenge or opportunity?


Sohrabizadeh, Sanaz, Sogand Tourani, and Hamid Reza Khankeh. 2016. “Women and Health Consequences of Natural Disasters: Challenge or Opportunity?” Women & Health (May 2, 2016): 1–17. doi:10.1080/03630242.2016.1176101.

Authors: Sanaz Sohrabizadeh, Sogand Tourani, Hamid Reza Khankeh


Disasters do not affect people equally; the impact of disasters on the lives of women is different from other groups of a community. Women’s fundamental rights to health and safety are violated after disasters. The authors of this study aimed to explore various factors of women’s health with reference to previous natural disasters in Iran. A qualitative approach using in-depth unstructured interviews and field observations was employed to explore women’s health factors in the affected regions. A total of 22 participants affected by disasters, as well as key informants, were interviewed applying the purposeful sampling method. Data were collected in 2014 in three provinces, including East Azerbaijan, Bushehr, and Mazandaran. A content analysis using the Graneheim approach was performed for analyzing the transcribed interviews. Two themes and four categories were extracted from the data. The themes that emerged included psycho-physical effects and women’s health status. Physical and psycho-emotional effects and reproductive and environmental health effects were the four emergent categories. The findings implied that managing women’s health challenges may result in reducing the distressing effects of disaster. These findings support identification and application of the mechanisms by which women’s well-being in physical, mental, reproductive, and environmental aspects can be protected after disasters.

Keywords: disasters, gender, health, iran, women

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Health, Mental Health, Reproductive Health Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2016

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