Mirta Rodríguez Calderón
2011 Recipient of the Mary Fran Myers Gender and Disaster Award
Mirta Rodríguez Calderón is a Cuban-Dominican journalist based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, whose exceptional reporting shone a bright light on the challenges facing women and their families before, during and after the Haitian earthquake of 2010.
Educated in Havana, she is currently a correspondent with the Dominican news agency SEMLAC (Servicio Especial de Noticias de la Mujer de America Latina y el Caribe), which published her chronicles about Haiti and other work, and Professor in the Department of Communication at the Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo. She also serves as chief editor for the Journal of Communication and is the editor of A Primera Plana, an on-line magazine dedicated to promoting gender equity in the mass media.
In Cuba, Mirta was co-founder of the Women Communicators Association (MAGIN), and in Santo Domingo she has been a core member of the Dominican Journalists Network with a Gender Perspective (Asociación Dominicana de Periodistas con Perspectiva de Género [Red Genero]). She continues to foster networks among journalist as a founding member of the International Journalists Network with a Gender Vision. Mirta is a skilled trainer, organizer, and advocate who has worked with the Colectivo Mujer y Salud (Women and Health Collective) and with CeMujer, both well-known women’s grassroots organizations in Santo Domingo. Additionally, she uses videography to tell women’s stories, producing and directing a number of feature and short documentaries, including Return of Life (rebirth after Cyclone Georges). She organizes courses and workshops on women’s leadership and empowerment, working with youth, women’s and grassroots groups across the region,
Mirta’s peers and colleagues sought to recognize her decades long "heart walk" to keep the aspirations and interests of the people in the limelight, including women after the Haitian earthquake. Her efforts to bring women’s experiences and activism to life through her writing helped raise awareness among policy makers and the next generation of disaster reporters about the critical need for a gender lens to promote social justice in disaster response and recovery.
We join the many who lent their name to this collective nomination in thanking Mirta Rodríguez Calderón for her efforts on behalf of women through journalistic advocacy and warmly acknowledge her contributions with and on behalf of the women of Haiti.
Brenda D. Phillips' work is distinguished by the innovative and holistic way she approaches the disadvantages faced by women in disaster. Phillips sees gender in disaster as enmeshed in a wider pattern of disadvantage and discrimination that compounds female vulnerability. 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