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Gender and Disaster Management

Women and men, girls and boys may go through the same disaster, but they are likely to experience it differently. Like so many aspects of health and public health, women have particular concerns and issues that are different than those for men, and importantly, not all women have the same needs or experiences when it comes to emergencies and disasters.

Women have always had to plan for, contend with, and pick up their lives following disasters. The gendered roles and responsibilities women have in their paid work and home lives affect women over the course of emergencies and disasters. Yet, women are not just victims: they plan for the worst, do what they have to do when they can, and respond as needed at home and on the job.

Emergency planners, government relief agencies and community-based organizations would benefit from applying a gender-based analysis to their work. By understanding the particular ways that women are likely to be affected by a disaster or an emergency and the contributions that women typically make to coping with and recovering from such events, we can ensure that our communities are better prepared to manage should the worst happen.


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