Role of women in disaster mitigation

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Harmony in Disasters and The Role of women:

Harmony in Disasters and The Role of women Geetha Johri,IPS


Disasters… What is disaster? Any unexpected happening leading to loss of life and property can be termed as disaster This can be momentary , temporary, or consistent Disasters can be natural and man-made


Natural disasters-----earthquakes, famines, floods etc Man-made disasters ----These can be due to 1) imbalance caused by mismanagement of environmental resources,2) social and political events Eg; communal riots, spread of aids , terrorisms


Disasters as defined in the Indian context: Causing damage to more than 1 per cent of Gross national product Causing deaths of more 100 persons at a time and place Affecting more than 1 per cent of total population of an area. Others define disaster as an or series of events which disrupts normal activities An accident on a large scale

How are women effected by disasters:

How are women effected by disasters 1. Loss of life 2.Loss of land and property including home 3.Change in occupation/livelihood 4.Effects physiological and psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs, religious ostracization 5. loss in social relationships ,fear of acceptability

Highly vulnerable women:

Highly vulnerable women Highly vulnerable women poor or low-income women refugee women and the homeless senior women women with cognitive or physical disabilities women heading households' widows and frail elderly women indigenous women recent migrants women with language barriers

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women in subordinated cultural groups socially isolated women caregivers with numerous dependents women in shelters/homeless women subject to assault or abuse women living alone chronically ill women undocumented women malnourished women and girls

…response to crisis! :

…response to crisis! Tacit surrender as entrapped in her traditional role minus decision maker Consequent professional fallouts like prostitution , girl child labor ,abuse & sale Anchor role in providing warmth & residual security to displaced family members Rehabilitation and nursing

…their role in reconciliation!:

…their role in reconciliation! Sheet anchor in cementing aspirations of a broken home-pigeon nest-latent power which goes unnoticed. This should be reinforced by participative decision making Helps by distribution of labor

Reducing vulnerability through vocational training:

Reducing vulnerability through vocational training Rohima Begum lives on Sandwip Island in the Jamuna-Ganges delta in Bangladesh. At the time of the catastrophic 1991 cyclone, which killed thousands of people, Rohima Begum, a widow, was living with her 2 children and her mother. She had no regular income and the family was hardly surviving. She lost the little she possessed in the cyclone.

Profile of Rohima Begum:

Profile of Rohima Begum After the cyclone with other women she learnt food processing run by NGO called Nari Pragati. She now earns enough to feed her family, send her son to school , save money and reinforce her home against future disasters.

Profile of Bachiben Burabhai ,45, leader of artisans in vauva village :

Profile of Bachiben Burabhai ,45, leader of artisans in vauva village Bachiben led a very hard life. She and husband went to relief site digging earth for four years after drought of 1985. She has now joined the SEWA earns 600 to 700 rupees and is the sole breadwinner and also the sarpanch of her village where men respect and consult her in crisis.

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