Disasters and violence against women and girls: can disasters shake social norms and power relations?

Research reports and studies
November 2016
Virginie Le Masson, Sheri Lim, Mirianna Budimir and Jasna Selih Podboj

Post-disaster contexts are often characterised by the aggravation of discriminatory norms, social inequalities and gender-based violence, particularly against women and girls. Disasters cause suffering and damage but they also provide opportunities for those affected to transform the way they live, from assuming new responsibilities to voicing their rights and interests. This working paper explores the impacts of disasters on power relations and gendered norms and discusses how resulting changes in social relations affect people's resilience.

By highlighting knowledge gaps, the authors aim to better understand why and how resilience programming can integrate social dimensions of vulnerability, including the risk of violence, and foster more equal power relations.