Thurairajah, N., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2010) Women's empowerment in disaster reconstruction: Critical perspectives on policies and frameworks. In: CIB 2010, 10-13th May 2010, University of Salford.. (Unpublished)

There has been an increase in the occurrence of natural disasters and their impact has aroused the interest of many stakeholders to incorporate different strategies on disaster management. Although, disaster ceased many opportunities and lives, the lives of survivors do not cease in the disaster affected areas. This bespeaks the need to develop communities to cope up with challenges during post disaster situations and to improve their disaster resilience. Within the post disaster stage, the impact of natural disasters and the consequent partial reconstruction efforts have presented many challenges to women. Hence, there is a need to enhance women?s position within post disaster context. Further, many studies have acknowledged that although women are disproportionately affected by these disasters, their role in preventing and mitigating the effects of natural disasters is not well explored. Within this context, the main research investigates into empowerment of women during post disaster reconstruction in Sri Lanka. There are many factors which influence women?s empowerment such as their contribution to household, access to resources, participation in household decision making, perception on gender awareness, etc. Among factors that influence women?s empowerment, existing policies and frameworks is one of the important factors that can play a major role within post disaster reconstruction. Further, although there are legislations and policies to provide assistance to women, the lack of implementation of these remains a problem. Hence, in order to gain an understanding on the existing framework on women?s empowerment, this study firstly examines the way the concept of empowerment has been viewed within development studies and later analyses the national and international policies and frameworks that exist within post disaster context in Sri Lanka. This study has been based on a theoretical as well as practical ideas obtained through a comprehensive literature review and interviews carried out among experts within the practice in Sri Lanka

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