The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981-2002.

Author:

Neumayer, E. and Plumper, T

Editor:

First

Date:

2007

Region:

Global

Theme:

Gender and Disaster

Language:

English

Publisher:

Taylor & Francis Group Ltd.

Full Harvard Reference:

Neumayer, E. and Plumper, T. (2007) The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981-2002. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 97(3): 551-566.

A widely cited article that uses a sample of 141 countries over the period 1981 to 2002 to analyse the effect of disaster strength and its interaction with the socioeconomic status of women. Authors find, first, that disasters kill more women than men on average, or kill women at an earlier age than men. Since female life expectancy is generally higher than that of males, for most countries disasters narrow the gender gap in life expectancy. Second, the stronger the disaster (as approximated by the number of people killed relative to population size), the stronger this effect on the gender gap in life expectancy. That is, major calamities lead to more severe impacts on women’s life expectancy (relative to that of men) than do smaller disasters. Third, the higher women's socioeconomic status, the weaker is this effect on the gender gap in life expectancy.