‘Please don’t raise gender now – we’re in an emergency!’ World Disasters Report 2006, Chapter 6
Fordham, M., Ariyabandu, M. M., Gopalan, P. and Peterson, J, K
Gender and Disaster
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Full Harvard Reference:
Fordham, M., Ariyabandu, M. M., Gopalan, P. and Peterson, J, K. (2006) ‘Please don’t raise gender now – we’re in an emergency!’ World Disasters Report 2006, Chapter 6. Geneva: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
‘Faced with a major disaster, some argue that attending to gender concerns is a luxury that must wait until more important matters have been addressed. Yet evidence shows that the failure to address gender-based inequalities immediately after disaster and throughout the response can condemn women and girls to less aid, fewer life opportunities, ill health, violence and even death.’ This chapter challenges the ‘tyranny of the urgent’, which leads to the neglect of gender before, during and after disaster – drawing on fieldwork from three continents. Analysis of the impact of recent disasters reveals that women suffer disproportionately. However, this chapter also explores gender issues relating to men and boys in disasters, as well as the often neglected resilience of women in the face of crisis. Moving beyond a beneficiary model of disaster response, the chapter argues that, in order to reduce future risks, aid organizations must adopt a rights-based approach to address the causes of social vulnerability which are rooted in gender inequality.