Women's invisible work in disaster contexts: Gender norms in speech on women's work after a forest fire in Sweden.

Author:

Danielsson, E., & Eriksson, K.

Editor:

Second

Date:

2020

Region:

Europe

Theme:

Gender and Wildfire

Language:

English

Publisher:

Wiley Online Library

Full Harvard Reference:

Danielsson, E., & Eriksson, K. (2020). Women's invisible work in disaster contexts: Gender norms in speech on women's work after a forest fire in Sweden. Disasters.

This article aims to investigate how both men and women perceive and discuss the work of women, and what women do in disaster situations. Based on 31 retrospective interviews of volunteers who were involved in a large forest fire in Sweden 2014, the results identified that women were often praised when following the traditional norms but were belittled when performing perceived ‘male-coded’ tasks. Another aspect which united women’s work during the fire was the lack of coverage reported in the media. Prevailing gender norms were abundantly clear through the attention, negative attention and unnoticed domestic work experienced and carried out by women. The article concluded that through making women’s efforts visible through both traditional female-coded tasks and through engaging in more male-coded tasks, we (society) are made more aware of the social resources that women’s work constitutes when society experiences a disaster.