Mainstreaming women into disaster risk reduction in the built environment in Sri Lanka

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Ginige, Kanchana ; Amaratunga, Dilanthi ; Haigh, Richard (2015)
  • Publisher: UNISDR
  • Subject: TH | H1 | GE
    acm: ComputingMilieux_THECOMPUTINGPROFESSION

Intense damage to women caused by natural disasters urges the necessity of incorporating a\ud women’s perspective into DRR. Gender mainstreaming has been demonstrated as a way of bringing a gender perspective into DRR as it could translate into identifying the different capacities and needs of different gender roles. Due to the criticality of the built environment’s role in DRR, mainstreaming women into the built environment in order to reduce their vulnerability could be considered vital. The paper in this context, aims to investigate how women can be mainstreamed into DRR in the built environment based on case study on Sri Lanka. The process of mainstreaming women is distinguished into two sequential steps in the paper. It consists of identification of women’s DRR knowledge and needs followed by the integration of the knowledge and needs into development within the built environment. Participatory methods, community feedback and complaints, expert knowledge, and relevant literature are identified as the most appropriate methods to identify women’s DRR knowledge and needs whilst the identified knowledge and needs can be integrated into\ud development within the built environment through regulations, project documentation, and awareness,\ud expertise and commitment of the built environment professionals. The paper further outlines the\ud existing barriers, responsible parties, relevant protocols and ways of promoting the process in relation to mainstreaming women in DRR in the built environment.
  • References (4)

    Morrow, B. H., Identifying and Mapping Community Vulnerability, Disasters, 23(1), pp.1-18, 1999.

    Murison, S., Gender Mainstreaming in the United Nations System. Geneva: The Capacity Development Group, Inc., United Nations, 2004.

    Neumayer, E., and Plumper, T., 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, 97(3), pp. 551-566, 2007.

    Pearl, R., and Dankelman, I., 2010. Gender aspects of natural disasters, The Bridge. [online]. [viewed 20 /03/2010]. Available from:

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