Monday, October 29, 2007

Report Says Women More Vulnerable in Crises

We've not posted to Tsunami Lessons for more than four months -- in part because we believe the Seinfeld script excerpt post in June does such a good job in explaining one aspect of the tsunami warning problem.

But it's time to move on, and we do so today by noting a report at the OneWorld South Asia website and an article headlined Disaster Lessons from the past. Here are a few sentences:

When natural disasters occur, poor people, and specifically poor women are usually the hardest hit. It is estimated that in the 2004 tsunami three times as many women as men died. One of the reasons why more women perish is their decreased mobility since they often have not only themselves to take care of, but also children and the elderly. Due to socially constructed roles, most have never learned how to swim.


The medium through which information is passed is vitally relevant. A study found that women farmers in South Africa preferred seasonal climate forecast information to be relayed by extension workers or through schools rather than the radio, which was the preferred medium of men. Men have greater access as well as more time to listen to radios.

This article is thought-provoking and raises numerous issues about how to communicate life-saving information equitably among all segments of populations that are endangered by natural disasters. Contact information is available on the OneWorld site for those who wish to follow up.