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Natural Disasters, Gender and Health: Maximizing the Role of Women in Disaster Response and Recovery

Wood, Lindsay Martin (2011) Natural Disasters, Gender and Health: Maximizing the Role of Women in Disaster Response and Recovery. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This paper explores the intersection between public health and disaster from a gendered angle. The health of women and men is affected differently during disasters due to factors which intensify individual, social and economic vulnerabilities. As illustrated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami's impact on Sri Lanka and Indonesia, the resulting humanitarian response as well as specific NGO programming, women are essential to the improvement of health outcomes for themselves and their communities in the aftermath of disaster. Public health and disaster response systems should be strengthened by adopting a gendered perspective and incorporating nutritional interventions within existing programming, such as by designing sensitive health and hygiene kits and organizing their distribution by female community health workers. Targeted attention to nutrition would enhance effectiveness and transferability from disaster to development, thereby improving health and achieving lasting change for disaster-affected lives. There is a pressing need for public health and development professionals to explore realistic, innovative and sustainable solutions to the conundrums that characterize natural disasters; women play a critical role in improving disaster response systems and subsequent health outcomes of individuals, families and communities. Gender-sensitive disaster response and recovery activities containing a nutritional component will comprehensively improve health outcomes and are of vital public health significance.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wood, Lindsay
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberThemudo, Nunothemudo@pitt.eduTHEMUDO
Committee MemberStebbins, Samuelstebbins@pitt.eduSTEBBINS
Date: 31 January 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 10 December 2010
Approval Date: 31 January 2011
Submission Date: 30 November 2010
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: development; nutrition; public health; tsunami
Other ID:, etd-11302010-223919
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:07
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:52


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