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The Mary Fran Myers Award, 2011

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.  


Previously: 2010 Mary Fran Myers Awardee - Brenda Phillips

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

Call for Nominations

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

List of award recipients

2012-Damairia Pakpahan

2011-Mirta Rodríguez Calderón

2010-Brenda Phillips

2009 - Chaman Pincha
2008 - Cecilia Castro     2007 - Prema Gopalan      2006 - Maureen Fordham   2005 - Elaine Enarson     2004 - Madhavi Aribayandu                 2003 - Betty Hearn Morrow