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  • Research-into-Action brief: Gender and disasters - Considering children
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Research-into-Action brief: Gender and disasters - Considering children

Source(s):  Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector (GADRRRES)

This brief explores how globally, women often suffer disproportionately higher impacts in disasters than men. In many instances where data is available, more women are shown to die compared to men and those that survive may also experience a decline in sexual and reproductive health, increased gender-based violence, disruption to education or are forced into harmful coping mechanisms such as child marriage or transactional sex. These impacts are more pronounced where the socio-economic gap between the sexes is wider.

These differences are not natural but arise because of inequitable gender norms (the ways in which different societies define what it means to be a man and to be a woman, including division of labour, roles, responsibilities and customs). Many children take on adult roles and responsibilities reflective of these discriminatory gender norms, yet disaster studies infrequently examine gender holistically when it comes to children, typically equating “gender” simplistically with biological sex. Breaking the cycle of gender inequalities requires a more robust consideration of gender in the context of children’s disaster vulnerability and resilience.

The Research-into-Action Brief series provides concise summaries of academic and grey literature on a range of topics for practitioners working in the fields of child-centred risk reduction (CCRR), climate change adaptation (CCA), and school safety.


A nivel mundial, las mujeres suelen sufrir impactos por los desastres desproporcionadamente mayores que los hombres. En muchos casos, de los que se dispone de datos, se demuestra que mueren más mujeres que hombres, y las que sobreviven pueden experimentar una disminución de la salud sexual y reproductiva, au-mento de la violencia basada en el género, una inte-rrupción de su educación o verse obligadas a recurrir a mecanismos nocivos para hacer frente a la situación, como el matrimonio precoz o las relaciones sexuales a cambio de dinero (Van der Gaag, 2013).

Estas diferen-cias no son naturales; son el resultado de normas de género no equitativas. Estas normas reflejan las mane-ras en que las diferentes sociedades definen lo que significa ser masculino y femenino, incluyendo la divi-sión del trabajo, los roles, las responsabilidades y las costumbres. Muchos niños y niñas asumen funciones y responsabilidades de adultos que reflejan estas nor-mas discriminatorias de género. Sin embargo, los es-tudios sobre desastres rara vez examinan las cuestio-nes de género holísticamente cuando se trata de niños, y a menudo equiparan "género" con sexo biológico, en lugar de considerar las normas y los roles de género. Romper el ciclo de las desigualdades de género requie-re una consideración más sólida de género en el con-texto de la vulnerabilidad y la resiliencia de los niños y niñas ante los desastres.



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  • Research-into-Action brief: Gender and disasters - Considering children
  • Publication date 2018
  • Author(s) Shreve, Cheney; Fordham, Maureen
  • Number of pages 8 p.

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