The Experience of People with Visual Impairments During and After the Christchurch, New Zealand 2010 and 2011 Earthquakes. See more here
The second in a series of three African Women's Development Fund primers entitled Feminist Perspectives on Governance, Peace and Security. More
UN Women 2017 Placing Pacific women at the forefront of disaster planning and response. More
The Gender & Disaster Pod E-Newsletter for August is out here
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Protecting Persons with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities: A Global Report on UNHCR's Efforts to Protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Asylum-Seekers and Refugees, December 2015, available here
See also from that Workshop the presentation by Marcy Hersh of Refugees:
International Backlash in GBV humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan? Link
‘Community Resilience at Scale: Grassroots Women Demonstrating Successful Practices’ shares successful grassroots strategies for building community resilience to disasters and climate change. It showcases women leading sustainable development in their communities, and features scaling up strategies in order to influence global agendas such as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2 and Post 2015 Development Agenda. Download Link
The WomanStats Project - compilation of information on the status of women. It facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states by searching the literature and conducting expert interviews. It is based on over 350 indicators of women's status in 175 countries.
Researchers investigate the impacts of bushfires on the Blue Mountains LGBTI community Link
"Don't forget men," first women and climate summit advised. Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 6 Aug 2014 link
UNISDR 2014 Asia-Pacific Input Document for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2) FINAL DRAFT: Risk sensitive development as the cornerstone of resilience and sustainability | Link to download | Local copy
SHELTERING DISPLACED PERSONS FROM SEXUAL & GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE This publication presents four reports that examine shelters in Haiti, Kenya, Colombia and the Thailand/Burma border | Link to download
WOMEN'S UN REPORT NETWORK - WUNRN 2014 WOMEN – FOOD SECURITY - CONFLICT & PEACE Power Point
'Impact of the Chars Livelihoods Programme on the disaster resilience of Chars communities' Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), 2014. It was found in the study that female participants scored less than the males before CLP support. However in the areas where households had received the CLP support package, females scored higher than their male counterparts. Link | Download
If you are setting up or restructuring an organization then take a look at this: Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) have produced a new Arrow Resource Kit (ARK) setting out their tried and tested management practices that reflect feminist principles. Link or Download [6MB]
'Ending Violence Against Women: The Case for a Comprehensive International Action Plan' Oxfam 2013 Link [220kb]
'Women's Voices From The Floodplains: an economic gender lens on responses in disaster affected areas in Queensland and Victoria' by economic Security4Women (eS4W) and Justice Equality Rights Access International (JERA)here
'WOMEN, GIRLS AND DISASTERS: A review for DFID' by Sarah Bradshaw and Maureen Fordham, August 2013 here
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For GDN members, remember the new address for emailing the list is:
This International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an opportunity for all to take a stand for girls and women in science.
Girls continue to face stereotypes and social and cultural restrictions, limiting access to education and funding for research, preventing them from scientific careers and reaching their full potential. Women remain a minority in science research and decision-making. Read more here
Disaster risk reduction scientists in the United States have prepared a brief paper on the challenges likely to be faced by emergency management, especially by FEMA and in so-called Sanctuary Cities, as a result of new and future policies of the new US administration. Download the eight principles here.
We would love to hear from anyone at the original GDN meeting at the Natural Hazards Workshop in Boulder, Colorado in July 1997. See our Founders' page for some of those who were there. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have information.
We will be celebrating and strategising at the 42nd Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop (Sunday, July 9 through Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at the Omni Interlocken Resort, Broomfield, Colorado, USA). Please join us!
Twenty years ago, we (some of us) were concerned particularly with the invisibility, and even active suppression, of women in disasters. Emergency/disaster management was an almost totally male-dominated and militarized professional world and the images of disasters reflected a strong masculine bias (images of active men, taking control; images of technology; passive images of women and children in need of rescue; but never seen as actors and rescuers in their own right. In general, the situation now is somewhat better but nowhere near as diverse as it should be. Gender is still equated with 'women' because we are still, globally, in the grip of patriarchal power. Also, more prosaically, a bureaucratic reductionism continues to seek to manage complexity by reducing it to one or two manageable categories.
The next 20 years will bring many challenges but one of them for the Gender and Disaster community will be to better integrate what are currently distinct and discrete categories of the social world; people of different gender, race, ethnicity, colour, caste, class, sexual orientation, language, faith, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, age, dis/ability, education or developmental level, geopolitical or other status, and especially those in violent or vulnerable situations. This requires many things but embraces an inclusive, inter- or cross-sectional philosophy and practice, in whatever professional and personal capacity one finds oneself.
What, practically speaking, does this mean? What concrete steps can we make or suggest?
One example is the global expression of solidarity in outrage and opposition to misogyny, wider prejudice and other abuses of power on Saturday 21 January 2016.
Here is one image from that day; this one from London (source: Kevin Blanchard) but there were many more in other parts of the world. Please send your own (email@example.com) to express some of that diversity mentioned above. However, it is important to keep in mind that many of those we choose to focus on are not free to express publicly what we have been voicing here but risk violence to themselves and others if they do so.
By Sanaz Sohrabizadeh from Iran
I was invited to represent the Gender and Disaster Network (GDN) at the Global Gender and Climate Alliance (GGCA) Innovation Forum which was held in Morocco on 12-13 November 2016. On the first day of the Forum, after my arrival from Tehran, I was surprised to see so many participants who were interested in gender and climate change issues and who had come together from different regions of the world... Read more here
See GGCA's resources on disaster risk reduction DRR) here
Often we focus on just one issue to the exclusion of others; for example, in our disaster context we focus on gender. However, the reality is that there are many factors operating at the same time which better describe a situation.
Gender and disaster plus age (your age or stage in the life course (adolescence, old age, reproductive age) can be a determining factor in how you experience a disaster or everyday life;
Gender and disaster plus health and wealth;
Gender and disaster plus disability and sexuality (see Cerebral Palsy and LGBT as a topic that has not been addressed in our field).
We could list many more examples which indicate a more complex picture that must be acknowledged and dealt with. If you have other ideas for missing cross cutting issues then let us know at GDN (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UN Women has just published as new report: Time to Act on Gender, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. An overview of progress in the Pacific region with evidence from The Republic of Marshall Islands, Vanuatu and Samoa.
This overview report presents evidence from the current literature and from primary data collection on the gender dimensions of climate change and disasters in the Pacific region.
This is a worldwide call for women and girls to bring light to their climate struggles and solutions by sending in photos and statements; or through escalated actions including but not limited to educational events, community projects, protests and marches. Go here for more.
Add your voice - submit an action - here
The International Day for Disaster Reduction is held every 13 October. It celebrates how people and communities around the world are reducing their exposure to disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face. The 2016 edition marks the launch of the new "Sendai Seven" campaign, centred on the seven targets of the Sendai Framework. This year's target is reducing mortality and "Live to Tell".
Tell us what you were doing!
Congratulations to Lori Peek who has been selected as the next Director of the Boulder, Colorado-based Natural Hazards Center. Lori will take over as the next director in January 2017.
Lori Peek is an award-winning sociologist, author, and disaster scholar, who has been a long term and active member of the Gender and Disaster Network. Read more here
This joint statement, signed by 42 grassroots women-led civil society organisations, human rights and humanitarian agencies, outlines recommendations for commitments by states attending the Global Refugee and Migrant Summits, to ensure the protection and safety of refugee women and girls.
An interactive data visualisation tool produced by ActionAid, in partnership with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
This tool maps detailed data from the Women's Resilience Index (WRI) displaying eight countries capacity for risk reduction in disaster and recovery, and the extent to which women are considered in the national rebuilding efforts. Go here for more information. Download the full report from The Economist Intelligence Unit (2014) here or from the GDN website here (4MB).
UN Women, supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka, and with two implementing partners - BRAC and Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) - launched the project, "Reducing Vulnerability of Women Affected by Climate Change through Livelihood Options" in December 2011.
The project succeeded in several ways set out in this evaluation report: Reducing Vulnerability of Women Affected by Climate Change through Livelihood Options: Final Evaluation Report by Nielsen Bangladesh. 2015. Download it here or go here for further information.
DRR Dynamics - The 2015 Landmark Agreements - Building a Gender-Inclusive Path for Implementation
DRR Dynamics, led by Kevin Blanchard, is organising a meeting on The 2015 Landmark Agreements - Building a Gender-Inclusive Path for Implementation. 15 September 2016 (15:00 - 17:30 EST) UN Women, New York City. #DRRLive. Flyer.
The full 2016 Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO) is now available online
The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) made a commitment at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in 2012 to undertake this Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO), recognizing the importance of highlighting gender from an environmental perspective and in response to a call from the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment. The purpose of the GGEO is to review links between gender and the environment, and to inform policy decisions aimed at increasing gender equality.
The Global Gender and Environment Outlook is a collaborative project between the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Strategic Partners to bring gender issues to the heart of environmental assessment and decision-making.
Coordinating and Lead Author Joni Seager said about the process of researching and writing the report:
"What we were doing was setting a benchmark, establishing the centrality of gender analysis for environmental assessment, and giving voice and visibility to the work done by hundreds -- thousands? -- of feminist, women's, and allied groups to ensure that women's as well as men's lives are visible in environmental work."
Download the report!
You can download the full report (this is a very large report of 77 MB) from the GDN website here
Or from UNEP here
Or you can download the Summary Report (3 MB) from the GDN website here
Or from UNEP here
There is more information on the UNEP GGEO website here
Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen: This year's winner of the Mary Fran Myers Award 2016
This year's winner of the Mary Fran Myer's Gender and Disaster Award is Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen. Dr Nasreen has had a long and distinguished career as a researcher and consultant in the fields of gender and development and gender and disaster, including food security, reproductive health, violence against women and climate change. She has also participated in networking at an international level in Bangladesh delegations and as a member of the Women Major Group of UNISDR. Her advocacy of women as those involved in resilient responses to disaster rather than merely victims has been consistent and effective. She is both a distinguished academic and a representative of Bangladesh, a country with significant challenges that constantly confronts disasters.
Many thanks for your hard work and dedication Mahbuba! Read more here
The GGEO (download the report here) provides an overview of existing knowledge to generate insights and propose some answers to the following key policy-relevant questions:
• What social forces are producing the changes seen in the environment, and are they gender dependent?
• What are the large-scale consequences of ongoing ecological changes for social systems and human security, and are the impacts gender-differentiated?
• What do future projections and outlooks look like, are they gender-differentiated, and will there be different outcomes for women and men?
• What actions could be taken for a more sustainable future that will position women and men as equal agents in taking such actions, and which socio-economic factors will shape different outcomes and responses for women and men?
The GGEO has been developed and written by a global team of almost 50 experts, with inputs from major groups and international organizations.
GGEO The Critical Issues is an abridged version of the comprehensive GGEO, prepared specifically for United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi in May 2016. The full report will be available later in 2016.
Download the report here
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 was adopted at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015 with the key objective of preventing new risks, reducing existing risks and building resilience. The Sendai Framework further stresses the need to integrate gender perspectives in all policies and practices, as well to promote women's leadership. In light of the new framework on disaster risk reduction and changing contexts of the post-2015 development agenda, UN Women and Government of Viet Nam, in collaboration with UNISDR and UNDP, and with support from the Government of Japan is organizing a Regional Asia-Pacific Conference on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction to mark one year of the adaptation of the Sendai Framework.
The aim of the regional conference is to provide a forum for Governments, the civil society, the academia and UN agencies and other development partners to discuss how gender equality and women's participation can be integrated into targets, indicators and actions when developing implementation plans at regional, national and local levels. See more
The new Disaster Quilting Project showcases the work of quilters from around the world who have worked with a disaster theme to share feelings and experiences.
Wallowa Mountain Wildfire – Patricia Turner
GDN members recently discussed what they thought were some of the newer ideas about gender and DRR. What we noted was how far we have come since the early days of addressing gender and disasters, when it was very much about just making women visible at all.
Here are GDN's (ongoing) suggestions:
1. A shift away from only considering women as vulnerable and towards recognising their capacities; from seeing women as born vulnerable to realizing their strength of resilience which is key to disaster recovery and risk reduction
2. A greater emphasis on rights-based approaches instead of needs-based approaches
3. The inclusion of girls and not just women
4. A focus on violence against women and girls (VAWG)
5. Emphasise that CHILDREN are affected by violence. We do a disservice to boy children by excluding them, as if they are not vulnerable or even more so in the aftermath of a disaster
6. A focus on broadening the concept of gender to include, in addition to women and girls:
a. men and masculinities;
b. LGBTI and those who do not identify with western-based categories of sexual identity
c. other social categories (age, race/ethnicity, etc)
7. A shift away from a gender/women and single hazard approach towards risk reduction and development concerns
8. The beginnings of a collaboration between those who work mostly on disaster risk reduction and those whose emphasis is more on climate change (DRR and CCA) including climate linked coping mechanisms in conjunction with the traditional modes of survival that women and other householders use in times of emergency
9. Human Trafficking and Violence against Women and Children in the aftermath of a disaster
10. Gendered disaster vulnerabilities across the age spectrum, especially for older persons
11. Strengthening resilience and knowledge about how the body releases trauma and restores health and wellbeing. Developing a "Trauma Risk Reduction" integrative approach based on psychobiological knowledge, information and wisdom.
12. Women's Health in Emergency Care and the establishment of educational and research endeavors that promote sex- and gender-specific medicine and women's health as it relates to the practice of emergency medicine
13. Increasing focus on the unique health and hygiene needs of women and girls, particularly menstrual health
14. Action on sexual reproductive health and rights more broadly
15. NGOs' and grassroots groups' exploitation of media platforms to preserve & claim women's rights, and legal measures to prevent violence against women as well girls
16. Shifting from just physical assessments to the inclusion of the social and the household in damage assessments
17. Greater awareness of how ground realities do and should shape DRR work at higher levels
18. The impact the discourse on the participation of women, children, LGBT etc. in community-based DRR has had on participation more broadly (ie trickle down of inclusivity)
19. Interest in the role of women in sustainability in DRR, development and recovery
20. Beginnings of a shifting from vulnerability reduction and aid, to economic opportunities and investments to support gendered DRR and recovery
21. Investing in capacity building for women and children in early warning systems
22. Leadership and communication
23. Inclusion of adolescent girls and boys and establishment of friendly spaces, services and information
24. And a cautionary note:
There is a concern that singling out particular groups may lead to exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness, which may be problematic. Addressing unequal power relations underpinning disaster risk requires dialogue rather than a silo approach, i.e. those with power need to recognise that gender affects others' vulnerability and capacities. Therefore, it is suggested to clarify up front that, by nature, gender in DRR is about girls and women, boys and men, LGBTIs, and all those who do not identify within the Western male-female binary nor within LGBTI 'categories', and that all these identities intersect with age, race/ethnicity, physical ability, etc. However, sometimes exclusiveness is necessary to bring focus and understanding of needs, capacities, vulnerabilities of a specific group until they get included.
If there is a volunteer (or volunteers) out there willing to do some literature searching to back up these suggestions with evidence thenplease contact Maureen Fordham at email@example.com
Between 2 to 4 March 2016 the network, Women Exchange 4 Disaster Risk Reduction, was launched at a Symposium in Hittisau, Austria. International female experts met to set the basis for a network in Europe.
The symposium was organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU). The network aims to enable professional and personal exchanges of knowledge on an international level. The major topics will be gender issues in the context of disaster risk reduction and increasing the visibility of female experts in the field.
The Gender and Disaster Network started in 1997 as an educational project initiated by women and men interested in gender relations in disaster contexts. We are the first web presence to advocate for gender mainstreaming in disaster risk reduction using the World Wide Web.Read more
The GDN Community Mailing List
GDN members share the latest information and resources on gender, drr and related issues through a mailing list hosted by Preventionweb. To subscribe to the LISTSERV, please register online: https://www.gdnonline.org/profile/register.php
The Gender and Disaster Sourcebook
The GDN hosts and maintains the Gender and Disaster and Disaster Sourcebook, a one-stop user-friendly electronic guide to help answer the question: "What is the link between gender equality and disaster risk?"
The Gender and Disaster Network Knowledgebase
A repository of many resources available to download in the GDN Knowledgebase.
The Mary Fran Myers Award
The Mary Fran Myers Award was so-named in order to recognize her sustained efforts to launch a worldwide network among disaster professionals, for advancing women’s careers and for promoting research on gender issues in disaster research in emergency management and higher education.
The GDN website is a continuing work in progress. Thanks to support from USAID/OFDA, USDA, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNISDR PreventionWeb, Northumbria University, Department of Geography and our many volunteers, we are expanding the GDN and making it more dynamic. We have many plans, some of which can be enacted now, others will have to wait for further sponsorship. Please visit In the Pipeline to see a description of some of the ideas we have for the future.
The GDN remains a space populated by its members and welcomes contributions of relevant materials/events/announcements for publication in the website and suggestions to improve the Network.
GDN is seeking partners and supporters to further its advocacy in gendering disaster risk reduction. Please email us at: gdngdnonline.org to explore potential collaborations.
GDN Regional hubs
See what we are planning for GDN in the world regions.
Newest Regional Hub: Africa
Visit our Supporters Page to see who is supporting GDN
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Includes published and unpublished reports, papers, conference proceedings
Guidelines, manuals, checklists and good practices on DRR and related themes
Regional or country-specific case studies/research on gender and disaster
Useful external sites, posters, statements, powerpoint presentations on gender and disaster.