Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Gender Issues in a Disaster

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Good day, my name is Karissa Moffett and I am presenting a topic on Gender in a Disaster.

Specifically, elucidating the affects of all genders in the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.

Women and men, and other genders are affected differently by disasters. This oral presentation

will focus on conventional gender responsibilities and social relations; and how these factors

impede and/or facilitate gender in a disaster situation in Nepal. According to Ferris, Petz,

and Stark of a Brookings disaster management report notes, ”over half of the 200 million

people affected by disasters are women

more than 75% displaced by natural disasters are women

and 70-80% who need assistance are women. . Because of the limited studies based on

transgender, and other genders aside from the familiar two, female and male I recognize

here and bring attention to you that the people affected, displaced, and needing assistance

greatly increases when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, inter-sexual and questioning

(LBGTIQ) characteristics invariably adds greater risk and vulnerability in disaster situations.

In addition, this oral presentation not only focuses on women and girls, boys and men,

but all genders in disasters and provides a juxtaposition between LBGTIQ, female, and


April 25, 2015 a major 7.8 magnitude earthquake on the Richter Scale struck Nepal. Unfortunately,

the area was hit with a 7.3 magnitude earthquake 17 days later.

Haddow et al., recognizes gender bias as an issue in equality in relief distribution (p.366).

Gender bias in emergency management can be defined as roles set by society that tie women

and men to traditional responsibilities. For example after a disaster (and well before

a disaster too) women are pigeon held to societal norms to stay at home with the children and

elderly. On the other hand, men are clouted to paramount opportunities in which places

women, children, and elderly at the mercy of dependency(Haddow et al., p.366).

Women, children (majority are girls), and LBGTIQ are often overlooked in the relief

and recovery process and threatened by social and cultural norms which in turn affects health,

living situations, access to supplies and involvement pre-and-post-disasters. Vulnerability

increases for women who are pregnant or menstruating and those women who take care of households

are more likely to come in contact with polluted water sources, adverse living quarters, mental

health and gender-based violence. Minorities are affected even more in such that LBGTIQ

are underrepresented and such that health, safety, emotional well-being are too adversely

affected. Men are responsible for most of the pre-and-post disaster response process

and are exposed to hazardous conditions. In addition, men are equally exposed to STDs

and AIDs as are LBGTIQ and women. More so men are more vulnerable to substance abuse

which in turn instigates physical and mental abuse among all other genders.

Chkrabarti and Walia, present toolkits for gender mainstreaming. These ideas can be implemented

to address differential needs of all gender-sensitve intiatives. Like women, transgender people

need to be included in preparation and relief planning.

Manjari Mehta (p.57), chapter five of Women, Gender, and Disasters, notes The Eurpoean

Commisions Disaster Preparedness ECHO programme (DIPECHO) developed reliance programs to equip

all ages and female and male genders. However, any mention of other genders were excluded.

The Blue Diamond Society and the Red Cross collaborated post disaster to shape relief

efforts and encourage resilience for future scenarios. After the Nepal Disasters, temporary

shelters were made to third gender people to diminish vulnerabilities and provide security.

Since there are initiatives established for strengthening womens preparation, response,

and recovery in disasters, I believe NGOs and governments should extend a a hand to

LBGTIQ communities for better engender disaster management. Mainstreaming all genders in emergency

management will provide a perspective and purposefulness to the community as whole in

the time of a disaster. Turning not only to women for help but also the third gender will

decrease the amount of deaths and truly provide a testament to what is possible.

The Description of Gender Issues in a Disaster