Ginige, K. N., Amaratunga, Dilanthi and Haigh, Richard (2008) Gender mainstreaming in disaster reduction: Why and how? In: CIB W89 International Conference on Building Education and research (BEAR), 11-15th February 2008, Sri Lanka. (Unpublished)

The significant losses in human life and livelihoods, the destruction of economic and social
infrastructure and damage to the environment caused by disasters in the past decade has
increased the necessity for proper disaster reduction and risk management strategies. A disaster
is shown as a combination of a trigger agent and vulnerabilities. Since vulnerabilities are the
dependant component of a disaster, they should be managed and minimised in order to reduce
disasters. Disaster reduction policies and measures, which ensure a decrease in vulnerabilities,
need to be formed and implemented to achieve a sustainable and consistent plan of disaster
management. Since women are more vulnerable in a disaster, their needs and concerns should
be widely integrated into risk reduction plans and procedures from both perspectives of women
as beneficiaries and decision makers. Gender mainstreaming is considered an important element
in disaster reduction policy making to integrate a gender equality perspective in all policies at
all levels. Gender mainstreaming in disaster reduction refers to promoting awareness about
gender equity and equality, to help reduce the impact of disasters and to incorporate gender
analysis in disaster management, risk reduction and sustainable development to decrease
vulnerability. This paper reviews literature on disaster reduction and gender mainstreaming to
emphasise why gender mainstreaming has become a necessity in disaster reduction attempts and
to highlight the ways in which it can be achieved

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