Women, Ecology, Disaster Management, and Recovery
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Disasters are happening at an alarming rate, and in disaster risk reduction and recovery women and ecological systems are neglected. I contend that the value- hierarchical androcentric thinking entrenched in the value-belief-norm culture of communities is responsible for the oppression, denigration and devaluation of women and for putting women and the environment at risk. I advance that disaster management and recovery strategies should be inclusive of differential vulnerabilities of survivors and the ecosystem to ensure social and ecological justice. I argue that although post-disaster needs assessments were carried out after the 2004 tsunami and the 2009 Kenya drought, the report of findings is not integrated into decision-making for disaster management.Considering the reactionary disaster management and recovery strategies during hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the tsunami in Thailand and drought in Kenya: I argue that disaster managers' continued implementation of androcentric stereotyped disaster responses and recovery plans predisposes all living things to future disaster. Knowing that locational vulnerability and human development activities predisposed the ecosystem to risk and increased the vulnerabilities of the women in the three disaster areas, then women's vulnerability lies at the intersection of gender, race, ethnicity, class, poverty and degraded ecosystem. However, some pre-existing cultures of these communities influenced resilience building in the three study areas. I also proposed that to achieve community resilience, post-disaster ecosystem resilience should be combined with engineering resilience. Furthermore, I advance that gender should be considered in determining access to resources in post-disaster management in order to ensure equity, social justice and efficient recovery. I reason that the continuation of the existing disaster culture for management of disaster risk reduction and recovery suggest that the hegemony wants to use the disaster as a displacement strategy in order to access the resources of ungoverned spaces.