Highlight the gender-specific challenges faced during disaster management. In this regard, discuss, how the disaster management cycle can be made more gender sensitive.

India is one of the countries with the highest vulnerability to disasters, according to the global disaster reduction and relief network.

Disaster management includes specific gender-related challenges such as:

  • Women are more vulnerable to disasters due to their confinement in homes.
  • Vulnerable to exploitation post disasters. Ex- women trafficking increases in impacted areas.
  • Capacity-building of women is low, to cope with the challenges of disasters.
  • Special needs of women like sanitary pads, toilets, etc are not taken care of in relief centers.
  • Effective rehabilitation is not provided, leading to poverty due to the absence of skills for employment.

This vulnerability of women was also highlighted by the 2nd ARC in its report on disaster management in India.

Steps that can be taken to make the disaster management cycle more gender-sensitive:

  • Mitigation – capacity building of women, including participation in disaster drills, etc. Also women-centric development of mitigation plans, like the structure of relief centers, etc.
  • Response – the focus of relief activities on the early evacuation of women, who are more vulnerable and less prepared to ensure their safety.
  • Relief – relief camps should make basic provisions of sanitary napkins, mobile toilets, etc for use by women.
  • Rehabilitation – focus on skill development, linkage with self-help Groups or NGOs for self-employment opportunities.
  • Also, women-homes for disasters affected single women or women with small children, etc.

These steps along with all the other steps of the disaster management cycle would reduce vulnerabilities and enhance capabilities in accordance to Sendai Framework.

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