the gender and disaster sourcebook

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Accounts appearing on ReliefWeb and other Internet sources rarely include women’s perspectives but in the wake of the 2004 tsunami in which more than four times as many women as men died this was less true than usual.

The short newspaper or web-based accounts below raise a wide range of issues facing girls and women at the moment of impact and during the long period of recovery and will be useful to gender and disaster trainers, academics presenting the first-person voice in the classroom, those responding in the field to tsunami-affected residents, and others. Where possible, entries highlighting the personal experiences, feelings, ideas and concerns of women are selected. All available narratives by or about men and masculinities in the wake of the tsunami are also included.

This compilation was originally undertaken by E. Enarson (August 2005) with priority to on-line material. We encourage submissions from readers to keep this section current during reconstruction.

We especially encourage contributions of similar material from other events in the past and those we know are yet to occur.

Living Learning Centers

Coordinated through GROOTS International and the Huairou Commission, a growing number of community-based groups and organizations with a focus on women’s empowerment and social justice are using their community centers as an organizing and respite site for women caught up in Katrina. As described on the Groots website:

Neighborhood Women House, Brooklyn NY
Houses the global offices of GROOTS International and the Huairou Commission, as well as serving as the administrative seat of NCNW. NW House will provide a number of links. Locally, the New York City Public Housing Residence Alliance in New York will link to and provide support for displaced women from throughout the country who have been evacuated and want to organize to have a larger voice in the reconstruction of their homes. GROOTS International will provide links to its resources and an international team of women who have led disaster to development responses throughout the world.

The Huairou Commission will provide links to technical support through its links to planners and architects. Huairou will also play a leading role in facilitating disaster watches, where students can travel to Hurricane-affected areas to engage with and support women as they cope and rebuild.

Woman Spirit House, St. Louis, MO.
Will serve as a center for rest and reflection for displaced African-American leaders from New Orleans and other Hurricane-affected areas. Woman Spirit, Inc., a member of NCNW, will provide leadership support for these women and will link them to the wider network that will help them to take part in advocating for a women-centered rebuilding of their communities.

Clearfork Community Institute, Appalachia TN
This LLC will use its experience to work with communities of fisher-folk in Louisiana on livelihoods restoration out of its home-base—the Clearfork Community Institute in Appalachia, TN. Women of Clearfork have already begun to respond to Katrina through their relationship with Southern Mutual Help Association. Dialogue between women from Clearfork and women from Southern Mutual Help Association provided a list of things needed for the victims of Katrina and Ruth that hit many small fishing and farming communities in Lousiana. They agreed to find people who could lend support to the redevelopment, from construction needs and house models to home mortgages and small business loans. Clearfork will support these efforts with crews of young volunteers to do clean up, fill out forms, and record oral histories through its connection with Berea College.

The Role Of Savings And Remittances In Unstable Situations: Reflections After Hurricane Mitch

Key words: NGO, hurricane Mitch, Nicaragua, livelihood, recovery

Women and children in disasters

Key words: Research, IGO, children

Women and Children - Worst Victims

1 p. ND. Liaqat Ali. One paragraph account of factors to consider accounting for the disproportionately high loss of women’s lives in the 2005 earthquake.
Available through bits on line:

Key words: Community education, earthquake, vulnerabilty analysis

Radix [radical interpretations of disaster]

All India Disaster Mitigation Institute

Sphere Project

What do women's rights have to do with disaster management?

Updated Jun 29, 2005. Summary of AWID listserve discussion. “While the discussion participants noted numerous gendered affects of disasters, the most heated debate in this discussion focused on whether women truly experience disaster differently from men and whether gendered disaster analysis is necessary and beneficial.” An interesting discussion piece useful for trainers and others. Available through the Association for Women’s Human Rights in Development:

Key words: Women's group, gender analysis, men

Hurricane Georges in the Dominican Republica: Civil Society and Local Participation

Key words: Dominican Repubic, hurricane, womenís groups, reconstruction

Aid Workers Forum

Key words: Cross hazard, NGO, practice



When Children's Worlds are Turned Upside Down

This UNICEF video is a dynamic animation highlighting key advocacy messages on education in emergencies. Visit this link to find some practical actions to make a difference.

Key words: children, emergency, education, multimedia

Gender and Climate Change in Poznan

Key words: Poznan, COP14, climate change

Children, Youths and Environment Journal


Volume 18, Number 1. 2008. This special issue examines the vulnerability and resilience of children and youth before, during and after disasters. It contains a unique collection of 20 papers from around the world, an annotated compilation of resources, four book reviews, and a media review. Access to the Journal varies for high-, middle-, low-income countries. Please visit the website at:

Key words: journal, children, youth, environment

Assisting Pregnant Women to Prepare for Disaster

Key words: pregnant, pregnancy, women, disaster preparedness, vulnerability, sexual health rights, reproductive health rights, SRHR, displacement, Katrina,

Gender, Climate Change and Human Security

Key words: gender, climate change, human security, WEDO

Gender and climate change: mapping the linkages. A scoping study on knowledge and gaps


 This paper outlines key linkages between climate change and gender inequality, focusing particularly on adaptation and mitigation policies and practices. The authors seek to identify gaps in the existing body of work and review best practice on adaptation and mitigation, with an emphasis on research, policy and practice. A. Brody; J. Demetriades; E. Esplen. June 2008. The draft report is available from BRIDGE Institute of Development Studies website:

Key words: climate change, linkage, scoping study, mitigation, adaptation

"Conflict and Crisis Settings: Promoting Sexual and Reproductive rights."

Key words: conflict, crisis, sexual rights, reproductive rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, SRHR

The Other Side of Gender: Masculinity Issues in Violent Conflict

Key words: masculinity, men, violent conflict, conflict, gender roles, peace, peacebuilding, inclusive, boys, girls, women, impacts, sexual violence

Weathering the Storm: Adolescent Girls and Climate Change

Key words: climate change, youth, adolescent, Plan International, adaptation, mitigation, climate change adaptation, capability, girls

Gender Notes: Hazards and Hazards Mitigation

Mitigation is women's work, too. Around the world, women strive to reduce disaster risk by reducing the hazards to which they and their families are exposed, using both local and specialist knowledge.

Key words: hazards, hazard mitigation, families, local knowledge, Enarson

Enhancing the capacity of women to cope with climate change: Case study of Phu Yen project model, Vietnam

Key words: climate change, capacity, Vietnam, case study

Opportunity in Haiti: Women as Agents of Resilience in Post-Disaster Reconstruction

Key words: Haiti, women's agency, empowerment, post-disaster reconstruction, resilience, agents, narratives, communities, networks, women's networks

Gestión de Riesgos de desastres de origen ambiental en Centroamérica con enfoque de género

Este artículo pretende presentar la idea de que es imprescindible promover la cultura de la prevención, generar información y aplicar metodologías de análisis requeridas por las personas responsables de la gestión de riesgos para tomar decisiones antes y después de la ocurrencia de eventos naturales. Esto debe hacerse con base a un mejor conocimiento de las amenazas, vulnerabilidades y riesgos, para tomar medidas preventivas y orientar las respuestas para la emergencia, la recuperación y la reconstrucción. Estas medidas 

deben considerar la perspectiva de género ya que de este modo, los actuales desastres podrían mitigarse considerablemente, al manejarlos con equidad, con decisión y con solidaridad entre todos los grupos sociales. Por ello se debe enfocar la gestión de riesgos con una perspectiva de equidad de género basada en principios de igualdad, justicia y derechos humanos que eliminen toda situación de discriminación contra las mujeres.

Gestión de Riesgos de desastres de origen ambiental en Centroamérica con enfoque de género. 

Key words: riesgos, centroamerica, género, desastres

Briefing paper on flood-displaced women in Sindh Province, Pakistan

Key words: flood, displacement, Pakistan, briefing paper

Ecofeminist movements from the North to the South

This article traces the origins of ecofeminism and presents the linkage between women and the environment. It provides an overview of the roles of women in the ecological movements from the US, Kenya and countries in  South Asia.

Aneel Salman

The Pakistan Development Review

46 : 4 Part II (Winter 2007) pp. 853–864


Click this link to download the document.


Key words: ecofeminism, ecology, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, USA, environment, Kenya

Gender Dimensions in Disaster Management

Key words: South Asia

Gender Perspectives on the Conventions on Biodiversity, Climate Change and Desertification

Prioritizing Women and Children During Flood Rehabilitation