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Knowledgebase - Papers and Reports

This page contains published and unpublished reports, papers, conference proceedings on gender and disaster risk reduction. Visit the Gender and Disaster Sourcebook for a more comprehensive list (2005 and earlier).

Women as Equal partners. This document showcases good practices in gender mainstreaming in Disaster Risk reduction highlighting the experiences of several states in India- Assam, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Maharashtra. It presents gender equity initiatives in disaster risk management to promote women’s involvement in community disaster preparedness. This document may be used as an advocacy tool, knowledge tool or a training resource.

Aravanis: The Voiceless Victims of Tsunami. The article specifically  highlights  the  plight  of  Aravanis  with  a  hope  to  get  the  attention  of  the government  and  humanitarian  agencies  to  pay  specific  attention  to  this  most  marginalized  and discriminated  population,  in their attempts to build back better. Chaman Pincha and N Harikrishna. Full text available from the GDN website: or from

Gender Mainstreaming In Emergency Management: Opportunities for Building Community Resilience in Canada. This report builds on international efforts over the past decade to develop more gender-sensitive approaches to disaster risk management, for example by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) and the humanitarian relief efforts of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The authors’ observations reflect recent initiatives by researchers, practitioners and policy makers to promote gender mainstreaming. The report reflected that while Canada has hosted gender and disaster conferences in Vancouver (1998) and Cape Breton (2006), little demonstrated change has followed along the lines recommended. Women’s organizations and networks, especially in the health sector, remain “out of the loop” of emergency preparedness. Further, the paper emphasised the need for an implementation framework and provided detailed strategic recommendations for gender mainstreaming in the Canadian context. The document was prepared for the Public Health Agency of Canada, Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response. Enarson, Elaine. February 2008. Download in PDF (727KB).

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Gender Implications. At first glance, the relationship between gender and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) may not be obvious. After all, the eruption of a nuclear bomb is likely to annihilate women men, children, animals and plants alike. [2] However once the symbolic value of WMD is examined, the gender dimension becomes apparent. Weapons in general tend to be associated with masculinity, which is socially constructed. Most of the buyers, owners and users of weapons are men. Armament and disarmament policies and practices are influenced by ideas about masculinity. [3] Weapons are considered to be symbols of masculinity and sexual potency. In 1998, when India detonated five nuclear devices, Hindu nationalist leader Balasaheb Thackeray is reported to have said 'we had to prove that we are not eunuchs.' [4]. By Kathambi Kinoti from Resource Net, Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). 2 May 2008. Download in PDF (66KB) or Word format (35KB)

Spotlight on Sexual Violence in Conflict Situations. Kathambi Kinoti from the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) reviews some of the issues highlighted in two recently released reports on sexual violence in conflict and post-conflict situations: 'No One to Turn To' carried out by Save the Children, UK in Cote d'Ivoire, Haiti and Southern Sudan and 'Forced Marriage within the Lord's Resistance Army, Uganda' published by the Feinstein International Center. From Resource Net, an online publication of the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID). 30 May 2008. Download in PDF (66KB) or Word format (36KB)

PDF file of Plumper and Neumayer's The Unequal Burden of War  The Unequal Burden of War: The Effect of Armed Conflict on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy. Thomas Plümper  and Eric Neumayer. February 2006. This article provides the first rigorous analysis of the impact of armed conflict on female relative to male life expectancy. We find that over the entire conflict period interstate and civil wars on average affect women more adversely than men. In peace times, women typically live longer than men. Hence, armed conflict tends to decrease the gap between female and male life expectancy. For civil wars, we find that it is ethnic wars that are damaging to women and particularly so if they take place in ‘failed’ states. Our findings challenge policy makers as well as international and humanitarian organizations to develop policies that tackle the large indirect and long-term negative health impacts of armed conflicts.  Download the full document here in PDF (202KB) or from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) website:

PDF file of Neumayer and Plumper Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981-2002. Eric Neumayer and Thomas Plümper . January 2007. The paper addresses the specific vulnerability of girls and women with respect to mortality from natural disasters and their aftermath.  We find, first, that natural disasters lower the life expectancy of women more than that of men. In other words, natural disasters (and their subsequent impact) on average kill more women than men or kill women at an earlier age than men. Since female life expectancy is generally higher than that of males, for most countries natural disasters narrow the gender gap in life expectancy. Download the full document here in PDF (257KB) or from the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) website

Disaster Brief Volume 5 (1) Jan 2008 After the Cyclone: Lessons from a Disaster. Highlights major gaps in disaster response after Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh particularly in housing and livelihood and discusses actions which stakeholders should undertake for appropriate and effective disaster response. February 2008. Oxfam International. Download document in PDF (193KB)

Disaster Brief Volume 5 (1) Jan 2008 Gender and Indicators, 2007. What does a world without gender inequality look like? Realising this vision requires inspiring and mobilising social change. But what would indicate we are on the right track - and how will we know when we get there? Gender-sensitive indicators and other measurements of change are critical - for building the case for taking gender (in)equality seriously, for enabling better planning and actions, and for holding institutions accountable for their commitments on gender. By Annalise Moser BRIDGE Cutting Edge Packs, Institute of Development Studies. English and French versions. Download from

Disaster Brief Volume 5 (1) Jan 2008 Girls in fighting forces: moving beyond victimhood. This paper examines the experiences of girls in armed conflict. Focusing on the extent to which girls are marginalised during and following armed conflict, it traces the perspectives of girls as victims and resisters of violence in Africa. Denov, Myriam. CIDA. (679KB) (Resource Net, AWID)

Measuring Gender Equality (Discussion Summary). This document is a summary of the e-discussion between BRIDGE and UNDP to contribute to the BRIDGE Gender and Indicators Cutting Edge Pack, July 2007. The e-discussion was structured around the following areas: Using data to bring about changes in gender equality and in programming effectiveness; the need for data analysis; tools and techniques; and, measuring specific topics. English, Español, Français versions. Download from

Disaster Brief Volume 5 (1) Jan 2008 Tsunami Aftermath - Women's Human Rights in Tsunami Affected Countries. A joint effort of women’s organisations and groups involved in relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the countries affected by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on December 26, 2004. Representatives of women’s organisations participating at the Asian Civil Society Consultation on Post Tsunami Challenges in Bangkok, February 13-14, 2005, from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka and Maldives felt there is a need for a comprehensive report focusing on women’s human rights violations in the tsunami aftermath given the gravity of the violations and the extent of marginalisation and exclusion of women from the rehabilitation process. Asia-Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD). March 2005. Accessed April 2008. (180KB)

Knowledgebase Links

Click on the Links below to access GDN Resources

G&D Sourcebook Annotated bibliography of gender and disaster resources until 2005.

Recently added materials

from 2006 to date

Why women? Why gender? Key resources on gender equality in disaster risk reduction

Archive of GDN newsletters

Includes published and unpublished reports, papers, conference proceedings

Guidelines, manuals and checklists

Regional or country-specific case studies/research on gender and disaster

Contains materials on gender and DRR in other languages (Spanish, Tamil, Japanese, Swahili, etc)

Useful external sites, posters, statements, powerpoint presentations on gender and disaster.