A study of disasters in 141 countries shows that women are 14 times more likely to die in a disaster than men. During the monsoon Nepal faces a risk of flood amidst a terrible tragedy and women are amongst the vulnerable groups. When resources become scarcer, then the population or group who suffered from discrimination due to race, gender or class prior to the event will suffer even more after the event, especially in a developing country like Nepal. The poor cannot afford strong housing, thus they live in more flood and landslide prone areas and they also have less access to financial resources to overcome disastrous impacts due to the lack of education. The monsoon can worsen the already severe impacts being faced due to the earthquake. News of sexual abuse of women in the temporary shelters is also being heard. Social exclusion, in which certain individuals are prevented from participating due to poverty or lack of some other basic capabilities, people in this group are more vulnerable during events such as floods. Heavy rainfall and floods in many areas will increase women’s workloads. Such roles may also limit their chances to contribute to community-level decision-making or disaster risk reduction. While men are out making decisions, women are inside looking after the children and often the rest of the family members as well. Lack of their participation ultimately results in women’s specific needs being neglected. Therefore, it is very important that women get maximum support from their families so that they could participate in the community level decision making process. Lack of women in decision making is a matter of great concern. Disaster researchers have noted that in most countries relief efforts are mostly managed by men and this excludes women and their needs, abilities from contributing to such efforts. It is important to find out about the level of female participation in decision making especially at the local level. Public awareness, leadership training campaigns and advocacy trainings are required. Gender inequalities make women more vulnerable. This issue needs to be tackled from the start. Gender inequality occurs in the first place due to women’s comparative lack of property such as money and their lower education levels compared with men, restrictions on them regarding decision-making. In order to mitigate the gender bias when it comes to such issues is to provide education on how assets such as land should be used.
Published: 12:36 am Jul 02, 2015