Women's health information package: Victorian bushfires - disaster situations

Women Australia Victoria
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Research shows that gender inequalities exist in disaster and emergency situations. While there are significant differences between women in different social locations, women as a whole are more likely than men at the time of an extreme environmental event to:

• live below the poverty line
• rely upon state supported social services
• lack savings, credit, insurance
• lack inheritance rights, land rights, control
• be unemployed or work in the informal economy
• be self-employed, home-based, contingent workers
• reside alone, be rearing children alone
• depend on functioning caregiving systems
• depend on public transportation, travel with dependents
• reside in public housing, mobile homes, rental housing, informal settlements
• live at risk of assault and abuse, be displaced into domestic violence shelters
• be responsible for others (family, kin, neighbors) as paid and unpaid caregivers
• physically depend on others due to late pregnancy, recent childbirth, age, chronic illness
• be living with disabilities, chronic illness
• be subject to gender norms controlling mobility and use of public space
• be subject to male authority in the household regarding use of emergency assistance assets and key decisions about evacuation and relocation

This document provides resources on gender research as it applies to disasters and it also supplies resources and links to web pages for disaster prevention information that focuses on gender. The inclusion of this information is aimed at raising awareness about inequality and the gendered nature of disaster experience. It is hoped that this information will help to facilitate equality in the recovery and reconstruction process, and that it may be used and built upon for future learning and emergency management purposes.

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