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Environmental Disasters

Climate Change and Violence against Women: Study of a Flood-Affected Population in the Rural Area of Sindh, Pakistan


Memon, Falak Shad. 2020. "Climate Change and Violence against Women: Study of a Flood-Affected Population in the Rural Area of Sindh, Pakistan." Pakistan Journal of Women's Studies 27 (1): 65-85.

Author: Falak Shad Memon


Climate-induced gender-based violence is an emerging area of study. Although studies on women and climate change are not new, a fresh understanding of gender-based issues and related problems are becoming of greater concern now. Women in Pakistan are generally at a disadvantage due to their societally- perceived norms, roles and responsibilities. This study aims to examine the experiences of women in flood settlement camps and to identify an association between natural disasters and violence against women. For this study, with the help of qualitative research methodology, 20 women were interviewed in the flood-prone areas of Sindh. Findings show that most women experience different types of violence, physical as well as emotional, committed by partners and even by complete strangers. The rate of such violence rises when women are displaced and are in temporary shelter facilities during a post-disaster period. Committing violence under such situations results in critical implications for both women victims and the development and implementation of gender sensitive climate change and disaster planning policies.

Keywords: climate change, disaster, gender-based violence, Pakistan, flood shelter-homes

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Climate Displacement, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gender-Based Violence, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

Gestión de Riesgo de Desastres, Género y Cambio Climático. Percepciones Sociales en Yucatán, México


Soares, Denise, and Daniel Murillo-Licea. 2013. “Gestión de riesgo de desastres, género y cambio climático. Percepciones sociales en Yucatán, México.” Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural 10 (72): 181-99.

Authors: Denise Soares, Daniel Murillo-Licea


El objetivo del presente trabajo es abonar a la reflexión de la articulación entre la gestión de riesgo de desastres y la equidad de género. Se presenta un estudio de caso en cuatro localidades del estado de Yucatán, México, sobre percepciones respecto al cambio climático y capacidades institucionales sobre gestión de riesgos. Para conocer las percepciones sociales locales se han utilizado los métodos de encuestas y entrevistas a informantes clave, y los resultados encontrados dan cuenta de la existencia de severos problemas en la institucionalidad municipal encargada tanto de la gestión de riesgo de desastres como de la promoción de procesos de mayor igualdad de género; además de esto, se registró un escaso conocimiento sobre los factores que provocan el cambio climático.
The aim of this paper is to contribute to the reflection on the link between disaster risk management and gender equity. It is presented a case study on perceptions about climate change and institutional abilities regarding risk management in four locations of the state of Yucatan, Mexico. In order to know the local social perceptions, surveys and interviews were administered to key informants, and the results account for the existence of serious problems in municipal institutions in charge of both disaster risk management and the promotion of processes to generate greater gender equality. Additionally, a lack of knowledge about the factors that cause climate change was recorded.
Le but de ce travail est porté à la réflexion de l’articulation entre la gestion des risques de catastrophes et l’égalité de genre. Il se présente une étude de cas en quatre localités de l’état de Yucatan, Mexique, sur les perceptions à propos du changement climatique et les capacités institutionnelles sur la gestion de risques. Pour connaître les perceptions sociales locales, les méthodes d’enquêtes et d’interviews à des informateurs clés se sont utilisées, et les résultats trouvés rendent compte de l’existence de problèmes très graves dans les institutions municipales chargées de la gestion de risques de catastrophes et des processus visant à promouvoir une plus grande égalité entre les sexes ; en plus de cela, un manque de connaissance sur les facteurs qui occasionnent le changement climatique s’est enregistré.

Keywords: cambio climático, gestión de riesgo de desastre, gênero, gender, climate change, Disaster Risk Management, genre, changement climatique, gestion de risque de catastrophe

Topics: Climate Change, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Mexico

Year: 2013

Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls


Davis, Lisa, and Blaine Bookey. 2011. "Fanm Ayisyen Pap Kase: Respecting the Right to Health of Haitian Women and Girls." Health and Human Rights 13 (1): 50-61.


Authors: Lisa Davis, Blaine Bookey


Only in recent years has violence against women begun to receive international attention as both a public health and human rights concern. This article argues that the right to be free from sexual violence is a fundamental component of the right to health, and the need is particularly acute in post-disaster contexts. This article uses post-earthquake Haiti as a case study to illustrate conditions for women and girls who suffer daily threats of physical, emotional, economic, and social harm in ways that have no direct parallels for their male counterparts. In addition, this article discusses the reasons that the humanitarian response in Haiti has not effectively protected women and girls and has instead exacerbated structural inequalities, making women, girls, and their families even more vulnerable to human rights violations including interference in their right to health. The article argues that the failure to guarantee the right of women to be free from sexual violence — an essential component of the right to health — is due in large part to the exclusion of displaced women from meaningful participation in formal humanitarian interventions.


Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Girls, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Health, Humanitarian Assistance, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Sexual Violence Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2011

Post-Earthquake Land Appropriations and the Dispossession of Rural Women in Haiti


Steckley, Marylynn, and Joshua Steckley. 2019. “Post-Earthquake Land Appropriations and the Dispossession of Rural Women in Haiti.” Feminist Economics 25 (4): 45-67.

Authors: Marylynn Steckley, Joshua Steckley


This study examines the trajectory of rural women’s labor in the wake of post-earthquake land appropriations in Haiti. Drawing on ethnographic field research conducted between 2010 and 2013, it explores gendered access to land in Haiti in both historical and contemporary contexts, paying attention to the nature of rural gender relations and how they influence women’s access to land and their roles in petty commerce. The study describes the stratification of rural market women, their lived experience, and how losing land access will affect their traditional roles as market women. Ultimately it argues that without access to land, and a paucity of available wage work, recent dispossession will intensify existing vulnerabilities for rural women and narrow their means of household production by forcing them to depend on informal market activity in their roles as machann (market women). 

Keywords: women's labor, primitive accumulation, agrarian transition, Haiti, earthquake, land grabs

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Households, Land Grabbing, Livelihoods, Rights, Land Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Americas, Caribbean countries Countries: Haiti

Year: 2019

Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences


K.C., Luna. 2019. "Conflict, Disaster and Changing Gender Roles in Nepal: Women’s Everyday Experiences." PhD diss., Wageningen University.

Author: Luna K.C.


Nepal suffered from the civil conflict from 1996 to 2006 as the Communist party of Nepal (so-called Maoist) sought to end the monarchical system that had been in place for 240 years and establish a People’s Republic. The Maoist-party ideology was highly focused upon the structural transformation of the country and had a strong message about women’s empowerment. The conflict brought a dramatic shift in the social, economic, and the political situation of Nepal. In November 2006, the peace agreement was signed, the country then started the post-conflict reconstruction process, such as writing a new constitution, constitution assembly election, state restructuring, and the policy formation.
The Maoist conflict produced multiple gendered effects upon women’s everyday lives. One category of women joined as Maoist combatants in search of equality and empowerment and performed roles equal to men in the war. Another category of women stayed behind when the men fled from the war to the cities or neighbouring countries, and their husbands, fathers or sons were killed, or became rebels or disappeared in the war. Women non-combatants experienced a situation where men’s work shifted onto their shoulders and they performed dual roles; at home and outside.
After the earthquake happened on 25 April 2015 in Nepal, women were impacted in a different way. When men were killed or became disabled, were away, or lost income in the earthquake, women took over men’s roles and responsibilities, such as rescued their family members, searched for the food, accommodation, financial support, jobs, health care, including took care of the children and elderly people. At the same time, women were also involved in a multiple role during post-earthquake settings.
The conflict/post-conflict/disaster period produces gendered effects; thus, gender analysis becomes fundamental during this time to understand how women and men deal with the rapid gender role change in the context of crisis and its aftermath, when there is a certain return to the normal situation.
This thesis is about women and changing gender roles in Nepal. The study traces the gendered effects of the Maoist war and the earthquake on women’s everyday lives. It examines how women experience the impact of the Maoist war and the post-conflict era in relation to shifting gender roles, responsibilities, challenges, and new openings. The thesis then asks similar questions about women affected by the earthquake, that happened while the country was still struggling with post-conflict issues.
Chapter 1 presents the introduction, which offers an overview of the main concern of the thesis and the theoretical perspectives (the sexual division of labour and power, ideology of gender, structural factors, and the role of the policy) that inform it. Chapter 2 outlines the methodology (in-depth interview, focuses group discussion, participant observation, and key informant interview) applied to conduct this study.
Chapter 3 examined how the Maoist conflict in Nepal affected women ex-combatants and non-combatants, looking at changes in gender roles during and after the conflict particularly from the standpoint of livelihood challenges in the post-war period. Major findings indicate that changing gender roles largely depend upon everyday practice of sexual division of labour and power as it evolved during and after the conflict. It also shows that the conflict produced different and contradictory effects on both categories of women who experienced shifts in gender roles. In post-war settings, these changes were partly reversed, and especially ex-combatant women faced severe livelihood challenges and returned to traditional gender roles.
Chapter 4 investigated how the Maoist armed conflict in Nepal was a struggle for the emancipation of women and it particularly looked at how women ex-combatants were engaged with ideas of gender equality and women’s empowerment during the Maoist war and afterwards. It further explores what happens to women’s ideological drive as gender roles ‘shift back’ after the war. The results demonstrate that in the Maoist war women ex-combatants were strongly committed to the Maoist gender ideology and experienced empowerment through this process, as they adopted non-traditional roles and crossed gender as well as caste lines. However, in the post-war, they felt ambivalent empowerment because there was a lack of commitment from the Maoist party to issues of gender equality and at the same time the patriarchal structures continued intact and, in some ways, even strengthened, and women faced multiple exclusions. 
Chapter 5 looked at how women ex-combatants experienced the reintegration process in the aftermath of war. The study found that the reintegration programming of Nepal lack gender framework due to which woman encountered a range of challenges in the post-war period. Mainly, the challenges were two-fold: At the societal level; they struggled to gain recognition, and at the family level they negotiated/renegotiated to rebuild relationships and safety-nets.
Chapter 6 investigated what challenges women faced in the wake of the earthquake and how these were related to their gender position. It asks how gender roles changed in relation to the earthquake in Nepal. Findings illustrate that different categories of women faced the effects of earthquake differently, especially with regards to the intersectionality of gender and migration and family composition. The earthquake provided women a window of opportunity to change gender roles. On the other hand, women encountered great difficulties in addressing their everyday needs and experienced gender-based exclusion.
Chapter 7 synthesises the outcomes of the four substantive chapters, discusses the findings, and offers four recommendations for policy implications.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Methodology
Chapter 3: Changing Gender Role: Women’s Livelihoods, Conflict and Post-Conflict Security in Nepal
Chapter 4:Living Maoist Gender Ideology:Experiences of Women Ex-Combatants in Nepal 79
Chapter 5: Everyday Realities of Reintegration: Experiences of Maoist ‘Verified’ Women Ex- Combatants in the Aftermath of War in Nepal
Chapter 6: Exploring Gendered Effects of the 2015 Earthquake in Nepal through Women’s Eyes
Chapter 7: Conclusion and Discussion

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Caste, Combatants, Female Combatants, DDR, Displacement & Migration, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Gender Equality/Inequality, Households, Intersectionality, Livelihoods, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Peace Processes Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Nepal

Year: 2019

Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir


Bhan, Mona. 2018. “Jinn, Floods, and Resistant Ecological Imaginaries in Kashmir.” Economic and Political Weekly 53 (47).

Author: Mona Bhan


How Kashmiri women experience and narrate questions of resource sovereignty and dispossession within the context of Kashmir's long-drawn-out military occupation, and India's investments in mega hydroelectric dams on Kashmir's rivers have been discussed. The devastating floods in 2014 led Kashmiris to increasingly challenge perceptions of nature or natural disasters as apolitical. Dams are an integral part of border-making processes, and gender, space, and borders are continually co-produced through militarised infrastructures. Women's resistant imaginaries, which combine political and ecological metaphors, and rely on conceptions of jinn and other non- human agency, offer a way to rethink Kashmir beyond its securitised geographies. (Summary from Economic & Political Weekly)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Occupation, Resource Conflict, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India

Year: 2018

Cumulative Disaster Exposure, Gender and the Protective Action Decision Model


Liddell, Jessica L., Leia Y. Saltzman, Regardt J. Ferreira, and Amy E. Lesen. 2020. "Cumulative Disaster Exposure, Gender and the Protective Action Decision Model." Progress in Disaster Science 5.

Authors: Jessica L. Liddell, Leia Y. Saltzman, Regardt J. Ferreira, Amy E. Lesen


The relationship between gender, disaster exposure, and the Protective Action Decision Model (PADM) is explored through a survey administered to 326 Gulf Coast residents following the Deep-Water Horizon oil spill. Structural Equation Modeling was used to find that disaster exposure demonstrated a significant negative effect on PADM, such that greater exposure was associated with lower scores (g = −3.09, p < .001). Similarly, gender was a significant covariate in the model, such that being female was associated with an increase in scores (g = 0.33, p < .05). This work highlights the relationships between gender, cumulative disaster exposure, and the PADM.

Keywords: protective action decision model, technological disaster, disaster recovery

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

Year: 2020

When the Disaster Strikes: Gendered (Im)mobility in Bangladesh


Ayeb-Karlsson, Sonja. 2020. "When the Disaster Strikes: Gendered (Im)mobility in Bangladesh." Climate Risk Management 29.

Author: Sonja Ayeb-Karlsson


Gender influences people’s behaviour in various ways. This study investigates gendered (im) mobility during cyclone strikes in Bangladesh. During such strikes people have described being unable to move away from environmentally high-risk locations and situations. The Q-based Discourse Analysis used by this study shows how and why gender-roles (im)mobilised people in three coastal locations during the cyclones. People (and especially women) explained that failing to evacuate to the cyclone shelters when a disaster strikes was not uncommon. Gender, or feminine and masculine social roles, played a significant role in these evacuation decisions while facilitating or constraining their mobility. The gendered subjectivities presented different accepted social behaviours and spaces for women and men. In this way, immobility (social, psychological, and geographical) was strongly gendered. Masculine roles were expected to be brave and protective, while female ‘mobility’ could be risky. Women’s mobility therefore ended up being constrained to the home. In other words, when the disaster strikes, everyone did not have the same ability to move. These empirical insights are important to inform climate policy in a way that it better supports vulnerable populations worldwide as they confront global environmental changes today and in the future.

Keywords: disaster, (im)mobility, non-evacuation behaviour, trapped populations

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Households Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2020

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

Development of Women's Capabilities in Post-Disaster Adaptation for Urban Resilience


Asteria, Donna, Dyah Utari, and Andiny Widya Utari. 2020. "Development of Women's Capabilities in Post-Disaster Adaptation for Urban Resilience." AIP Conference Proceedings 2245 (1). Yogyakarta.

Authors: Donna Asteria, Dyah Utari, Andiny Widya Utari


City resilience is an essential condition to be achieved after a disaster occurs to support the realization of a friendly city for women and children. This paper aims to describethe strategy in the development of women's capacity in the strategic role of women through empowerment to improve post-disaster adaptability in the city.This study uses quantitative methods with analytical techniques to use AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process). This method uses expert judgment from various stakeholders to predict approach in developing more sustainable empowerment.The results showed that the development of empowerment with a gender equality approach through efforts to improve individual productivity capabilities through education on the use of technology and local resources, as well as financial access to economic improvement to increase the adaptive capacity of women facing post-disaster. The essential supporting for women is access and opportunities in recovery and rehabilitation to play a role in post-disaster environmental management in their communities. The contribution of this research as the development of disaster management and post-disaster policy planning in urban areas uses gender equality and community-based participation approach.Recommendation from this research finding is stakeholders can developing capacity building program to support of women, with open the access to various programs and facilities, also the opportunity to be involved in postdisaster recovery and environmental management for the development of urban areas.

Topics: Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality

Year: 2020


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