2008 Recipient of the Mary Fran Myers Award
Cecilia Castro García is an independent researcher and consultant who has dedicated her work to enabling practices to mainstream approaches of gender equity and integral disaster risk management in community activities, government programs, urban and social development policies, and institutes advancing women’s issues. She has worked on the theories of comprehensive disaster risk management and environmental management as part of a more just and sustainable approach to development. She holds a bachelor’s in human settlement design (urban and regional planning), is a specialist in gender studies and has doctoral studies in social sciences.
Her doctoral research focuses on the social construction of disaster risk and housing policies with a concentration on social vulnerability and the limited living conditions of housing for the socially disadvantaged from 1985 to 2000.
In 2006, Castro García was responsible for a National Institute for Women in Mexico project that developed methodologies and teaching tools aimed at incorporating gender and integral disaster risk management approaches into government policies and programs and the community. Research from the project, which was completed in association with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Interior Department’s Office for Civil Protection Coordination, was later published in the book Desastres naturales y vulnerabilidad de las mujeres en México (Natural Disasters and the Vulnerability of Women in Mexico), which she coordinated and co-authored.
In 2006-2007 she was a consultant for the El Salvador UNDP regional Latin American project “Gender Equity Mainstreaming in Disaster Risk Management in UNDP Institutional Work,” which organized a workshop and regional meeting; a virtual forum with the UNDP’s gender and risk management focal points; and a compilation of materials with bibliography, sources and web links on the subject.
Castro García has given conferences and training workshops for different federal and local institutions, especially municipal women’s institutes, civil defense units, and research and teaching centers. In 2007, she was academic coordinator for a Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) and the National Institute for Social Development (INDESOL) project strengthening government and local community coordination in disaster risk prevention and gender equity in two southeastern states. The project coincided with the rains and floods in Tabasco and Chiapas. That year she also coordinated the CIESAS/SEDESOL study “International Seminar on Prevention of Risks, Disasters and Vulnerability of Urban Settlements” in Mexico City.
As the Executive Director of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) for over 15 years, Prema Gopalan has supported poor rural women in building bridges with local government to facilitate democratic processes that are inclusive of women. Read more
The Gender and Disaster Network and the Natural Hazards Center invite nominations of those who should be recognized for their efforts to advance gender-sensitive policy, practice, or research in the areas of disaster risk reduction. Read more