Disaster Devastation in Poor Nations: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Gender Equality, Ecological Losses, and Development.

Author:

Austin, K. &McKinney, L.

Editor:

First

Date:

2016

Region:

Global

Theme:

Gender and Vulnerability

Language:

English

Publisher:

Oxford University Press

Full Harvard Reference:

Austin, K. &McKinney, L. (2016). Disaster Devastation in Poor Nations: The Direct and Indirect Effects of Gender Equality, Ecological Losses, and Development. Social Forces, Vol. 95, No. 1 pp 355-380.

This paper quantitatively assesses the drivers of suffering from disasters across less developed nations, with specific emphasis on the gender relations that potentially mitigate the breadth of devastation across affected populations. Drawing on theoretical frameworks of environmental sociology, ecofeminism, gender inequalities, and development to inform empirical analysis, the paper explores the linkages that connect the environment, women's economic standing, and disaster vulnerability. Findings point to the beneficial effects of improving women's status—itself conditioned by ecological and developmental factors—to limit the extent of human strife resulting from disaster events. Conclusions also point to interrelationships among additional social, economic, political, and ecological conditions in determining the distribution of disaster harm and death, such as ecological losses, democracy, underdevelopment, and provisions for health resources.