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Structural Barriers to Disaster Resilience: Gender I Session 11.

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Presentation on theme: "Structural Barriers to Disaster Resilience: Gender I Session 11."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structural Barriers to Disaster Resilience: Gender I Session 11

2 2 Session Objectives  Understand how gender relations affect people’s everyday lives  Explain how gender relations affect women and men in disaster contexts  Relate gender to others social dynamics affecting disaster resilience  Understand the relevance of gender to a social vulnerability approach

3 Session 113 Significance of Gender  Gender identity has biological foundations in sex difference, but is also shaped by other factors  Gender patterns vary over the life course  Gender norms are interactive  Gender stratification structures people’s life opportunities and social status  Gender relations are not universally disempowering to women  Gender is not a synonym for “women”  Gender relations vary historically  Gender relations vary culturally

4 Session 114 Gender Differences in Everyday Life Put Women and Men Differently at Risk  Average life span  Division of labor  Health status  Exposure to violence

5 Session 115 Disparities Which Increase Women’s Risk  Economic insecurity and higher levels of poverty  Extensive caregiving responsibilities  Domestic violence  Women’s traditional occupations

6 Session 116 Gender Differences Which Increase Some Men’s Vulnerability  Occupational segregation  Internalized masculinity norms  Family and household roles

7 Session 117 Gendered Life Experiences Which Help Women and Men Cope with Disaster  Extensive social networks  Caregiving skills  Knowledge of local communities  Environmental resource users/managers  Experience mitigating hazards  High levels of risk awareness  Traditionally female occupational skills  Extensive work and professional contacts  Technical skills  Limited responsibility for children  Traditionally male occupational skills WomenMen

8 Session 118 Social Trends Which Increase Women’s Vulnerability  Increasing longevity  Increasing health problems as women live longer  Increasing rate of sole-occupancy  Increasing proportions of single-parent families  Increasing institutionalization  Increasing cut-backs in public assistance  Increasing dependence on paid caregivers

9 Session 119 Highly Vulnerable Groups Which are Disproportionately Female  Battered women housed in shelters  Poor families  Lower-income disabled  Low-income elderly living alone  Single parents  People housed in insecure housing

10 Session 1110 Women in Emergency Management Organizations are Easily Marginalized  Women often work as gender tokens in male-dominated agencies  Women tend to express ideas more tentatively and work more cooperatively  Women are concentrated in lower-status professions  Women work in staff rather than line positions  Women have restricted task and job assignments  Women exercise power and influence informally rather than through official job status  Women are less able than men to realize ambitions  Women are perceived as less aggressive  Women often lack effective mentors  Women have fewer opportunities for training  Women do not enter the field from military backgrounds

11 Session 1111 Unique Contributions of Women to Emergency Management  First-hand knowledge of gender differences and inequalities in everyday life  Knowledge of how race, class, gender, and age interact to increase vulnerability  Knowledge of personal and organizational strength of women and women’s groups  Professional background compatible with social vulnerability approach  Potentially greater access to local knowledge and resources of grassroots groups  Nontraditional sets of skills

12 Session 1112 Ways Gender Inequalities Can Be Reinforced  Financial relief targeted to heads of households  Community consultations marginalize women  Women’s work in emergencies based on gender norms  Neglect of women’s need for income  Neglect of women’s needs in design of emergency/temporary shelters  Exclusion of women’s organizations in mitigation or post-disaster initiatives  Lack of attention to women living in shelters before disasters  Lack of gender-aware initiatives for men

13 Session 1113 Ways Gender Inequalities Can Be Challenged  Gender-targeted services where appropriate  Family-friendly public outreach/employment practices  Gender-aware analysis  Gender evaluation of all program planning and practices during all disaster phases  Avoiding unnecessary gender approaches  Gender-inclusive approach to all public meetings  Gender equity in emergency agencies  Researching disasters from women’s perspectives  Gender-sensitive indicators of vulnerability and capacity  Gender-disaggregated data whenever possible

14 Session 1114 Patterns of Social Vulnerability of Women in the U.S.  34% of women aged 75 or older (vs. 24% of men) have a mobility or self- care limitation  Nearly half of elderly women (vs. 14% of men) are widows  75% of nursing home residents are women  Women dominate among those who need care and those who provide it  Over half of women aged 75 or older live alone  60% of all women over 16 years of age were in the labor force in 1999  51% of married couples with children in 1998 were both employed outside the home  75% of women work full time  Women own 35% of all firms, but most are in service and retail sectors; 42% reported before-tax- profits of under $10,000 in 1992  Half of all women-owned businesses in 1992 were home- based  Women earn 23% less in income than men  25% of households headed by women lived below the poverty line in 199 (vs. 11% headed by men with no spouse present)  Women and children are 2/3 of all legal immigrants to the U.S. today

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