Women's Experiences across Disasters: A Study of Two Towns in Texas, United States


Villarreal, Melissa, and Michelle A. Meyer. 2020. "Women's Experiences across Disasters: A Study of Two Towns in Texas, United States." Disasters 44 (2): 285-306.

Authors: Melissa Villarreal, Michelle A. Meyer


Gender, although gaining attention, remains under‐researched in disaster risk reduction protocols and response and recovery efforts. This study examines women's experiences of two disasters in small towns in the United States, utilising qualitative interviews with residents of Granbury and West, Texas, during the first year of disaster recovery. Granbury was struck by an EF‐4 tornado on 15 May 2013, whereas an explosion occurred at a local fertiliser facility in West on 17 April 2013. The paper explores how women's experiences of inter‐gender power dynamics in decision‐making, the prioritisation of childcare, and women's participation in the community affect their post‐disaster recovery. Previous research highlights different forms of human response and recovery vis‐à‐vis ‘natural’ and technological disasters, with less attention paid to gender differences. The results point to the persistent, and similar, effect of gender stratification on women's experiences across different types of disasters in the US and the continued importance of gender‐sensitive disaster policies and programmes.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2020

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