Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives

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Women, Gender and Disaster: Global Issues and Initiatives examines gender within the context of disaster risk management. It argues for gender mainstreaming as an effective strategy towards achieving disaster risk reduction and mitigating post-disaster gender disparity. Highlighting that gender inequalities pervade all aspects of life, it analyses the failure to implement inclusive and gender-sensitive approaches to relief and rehabilitation work. While examining positive strategies for change, the collection focuses on women’s knowledge, capabilities, leadership and experience in community resource management. The authors emphasize that these strengths in women, which are required for building resilience to hazards and disasters, are frequently overlooked. This timely book will be extremely useful to policy makers and professionals active in the field of disaster management and to academics and students in gender studies, social work, environmental studies and development studies.

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Editorial Reviews

Technology and Development Gender

This is a good book for students trying to understand this developing field. Policy makers and researchers will be able to implement the frameworks and tools highlighted in this book. It is meant to be used as a resource for future implementation of gender-sensitive disaster risk management. The tools and framework will provide a good starting point for any policy maker. Every part of this book could have been a separate book, but the editor does a good job of weaving the extensive literature into a systematic and good read.

The book not only highlights challenges that must be overcome but also provides recommendations for achieving equal participation of women in decision-making and approaches for integrating a gender perspective into disaster risk reduction strategies. It brings to light the fact that unless relief workers and officials acknowledge their vulnerable status and plan relief efforts accordingly, women will continue to be disproportionately affected by natural disasters.
Social Action

This book would be good for students of psychology and organizations working with women at grassroots level to take up lessons for future course of directions.

Feminist Review

Women, Gender and Disaster provides a comprehensive overview of the role gender plays in various disaster situations…[The book] brings together cross-cultural and grassroots perspectives on both response and reduction, examining what is being done now and what could be done in the future…The book gives important case studies and examples for those working in the disaster management field, policy makers, academics and students alike.


The book not only highlights challenges that must be overcome but also provides recommendations for achieving equal participation of women in decision-making and approaches for integrating a gender perspective into disaster risk reduction strategies. It brings to light the fact that unless relief workers and officials acknowledge their vulnerable status and plan relief efforts accordingly, women will continue to be disproportionately affected by natural disasters.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9788132101482
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 1/30/2010
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Elaine Enarson is an American disaster sociologist currently working independently in Lyons, Colorado. Her personal experience in Hurricane Andrew sparked extensive work on gender-based vulnerability and capacity, writing from applied and theoretical perspectives on women’s human rights, livelihoods, safety, housing, community roles, political mobilisation, family lives, and disaster quilting as well as gender and extreme heat, evacuation and disaster recovery. She has developed a number of gender and disaster training packages for practitioners and a manual for Canadian grass-roots women’s groups on emergency preparedness. A founding member of the Gender and Disaster Network (GDN), Elaine was also the lead course developer of a FEMA course on social vulnerability and initiated a grass-roots risk assessment project with women in the Caribbean as well as the online Gender and Disaster Sourcebook. Currently she consults with UN agencies and teaches part time in her areas of interest. Elaine co-edited The Gendered Terrain of Disaster: Through Women’s Eyes (1998) and Women and Katrina: The Gender Dimensions of Disaster Recovery (forthcoming) and is developing a monograph on these topics in US contexts.

P G Dhar Chakrabarti has been both a researcher and a practitioner of development policies and programmes on a wide range of issues. Starting his career as a Lecturer in Calcutta University, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1980 and worked on various assignments at local, provincial, national and international levels. During his tenure as Head of Women’s Development Wing in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, he was involved with many new initiatives like the Gender Budget, Women’s Component Plan and the National Policy on Women’s Empowerment. Presently, he is heading both the National Institute of Disaster Management which is the nodal institute of Government of India for research, documentation, training and capacity building on disaster management; and the SAARC Disaster Management Centre which is a regional organisation of the eight South Asian countries. He was nominated by the Secretary General of the United Nations to serve as a Member of the Advisory Group of Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) of the United Nations. He further worked as a Member of the Expert Group of the UNISDR on Gender and Disaster. He is the editor of two journals he founded—Disaster and Development and Journal of South Asian Disaster Studies. Widely travelled, he has authored a number of books and contributed papers in journals published from different countries.

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Table of Contents

Overview - P G Dhar Chakrabarti
Sex, Gender and Gender Relations in Disasters - Madhavi Malalgoda Ariyabandu
A Gender Perspective on Disaster Risk Reduction - Helena Molin Valdés
Let's Share the Stage: 'Involving Men in Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction' - Prafulla Mishra
Organizing for Risk Reduction: The Honolulu Call to Action - Cheryl L Anderson
Overview - P G Dhar Chakrabarti
Reducing Disaster Risk through Community Resilience in the Himalayas - Manjari Mehta
Gender Perspectives on Disaster Reconstruction in Nicaragua: Reconstructing Roles and Relations? - Sarah Bradshaw and Brian Linneker
Environmental Management and Disaster Mitigation: Middle Eastern Gender Perspective - Samia Galal Saad
"Everything Became a Struggle, Absolute Struggle": Post-flood Increases in Domestic Violence in New Zealand - Rosalind Houghton
Parenting in the Wake of Disaster: Mothers and Fathers Respond to Hurricane - Katrina Lori Peek and Alice Fothergill
Women in the Great Hanshin Earthquake - Reiko Masai, Lisa Kuzunishi and Tamiyo Kondo
Victims of Earthquake and Patriarchy: The 2005 Pakistan Earthquake - Azra Talat Sayeed
"A Part of Me Had Left: " Learning from Women Farmers in Canada about Disaster Stress - Simone Reinsch
Supporting Women and Men on the Front Lines of Biological Disaster - Tracey L O'Sullivan and Carol A Amaratunga
Overview - P G Dhar Chakrabarti
We Can Make Things Better for Each Other': Women and Girls Organize to Reduce Disasters in Central America - Maureen Fordham
Women's Participation in Disaster Relief and Recovery - Ayse Yonder with Seng l Akçar and Prema Gopalan
Work-focused Responses to Disasters: India's Self Employed Women's Association - Francie Lund and Tony Vaux
A Climate for Change: Humanitarian Disaster and the Movement for the Commons in Kenya - Leigh Brownhill
Sri Lankan Women's Organizations Responding to Post-tsunami Violence - Sarah Fisher
'A We Run Tings': Women Rebuilding Montserrat - Judith Soares and Audrey Y Mullings
Women Responding to Drought in Brazil - Adélia de Melo Branco
Overview - P G Dhar Chakrabarti
Balancing Gender Vulnerabilities and Capacities in the Framework of Comprehensive Risk Management: The Case of Mexico - Cecilia Castro Garcia and Luisa Emilia Reyes Zuñiga
Towards Gender Equality in Climate Change Policy: Challenges and Perspectives for the Future - Ulrike Röhr, Minu Hemmati and Yianna Lambrou
Engendering Tsunami Recovery in Sri Lanka: The Role of Unifem and its Partners - Chandni Joshi and Mihir R Bhatt
Gendering Disaster Risk Reduction: 57 Steps from Words to Action - Elaine Enarson
Toolkit for Mainstreaming Gender in Emergency Response - P G Dhar Chakrabarti and Ajinder Walia
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