Women's Health in Natural Disasters: A Vulnerability Analysis

Yasamin O. Izadkhah, Katayoun Jahangiri, Jila Sadighi

Abstract


Women are among the most vulnerable groups of society in natural disasters. In this regard, the aim of the present study is to identify the influential factors of women's vulnerability in natural disasters and proposing strategies to reduce the risk. This study has been conducted in Iran consisting a narrative review and a qualitative study (focus group discussion) in order to determine the views of decision makers and to propose strategies for improving approaches to reduce women's vulnerability in disasters. The main findings of this study include: lack of needs assessment regarding women in disaster situations; insufficient legal support of women; need for more credits to be allocated for women in disaster management issues; absence of enough female experts in the field of disaster management; lack of women's presence especially in the responsible government agencies; constant use of men as relief and rescuers without having women in the team; and lack of specialized centers to train women for relief and rescue activities.

Keywords


Women health, Vulnerability analysis, Natural disasters, Qualitative study

Full Text:

PDF HTML

References


Al Gasseer, N., Dresden, E., Keeney, G.B., and Warren, N. (2004): Status of Women and Infants in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. JMWH, 49(4.1):7-13.

Baas S., Ramasamy, S., DePryck, J. D., and Battista, F. ( 2008): Disaster Risk Management Systems Analysis, FAO, United Nations, Rome.

Carballo, M., Hernandez, M., Schneider, K., and Welle, E. (2005). Impact of the Tsunami on Reproductive Health, J R Soc Med, 98: 400-403.

Cordero, J.F. (1993). The Epidemiology of Disasters and Adverse Reproductive Outcomes, Lessons Learned. Environmental Health Perspectives, 101(2):131-136.

Fothergill, A. (1996): Gender, Risk, and Disasters. International Journal of Emergencies and Disasters, 14 (1): 33-56.

Janerich, D.T., A.D. Stark, P. Greenwald, WS Bryant, HI Jacobson, and McCusker, J. (1981). Increased Leukemia, Lymphoma and Spontaneous Abortion in Western New York Following a Disaster, Public Health Rep., 96:350-356.

Maleki, R. (2010): Women Die More than Men in Crises, Etemad newspaper, No. 1936.

Meleis, A.I. (2005): Safe Womanhood is Not Safe Motherhood: Policy Implications. Health Care, Women Int. 26(6):464-471.

Mothers Health Program in Crisis (2003): Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Office of Maternal Health, Office of Family Health and Population.

Sapir, D.G. (1993). Natural and Manmade Disasters: the Vulnerability of Women-Headed Households and Children without Families". World Health Statistics Quarterly, 46(4):227-233.

Seaman J. and Maguire S. (2005): ABC of Conflict and Disaster. The Special Needs of Children and Women. BMJ, 331(7507):34-36.