Explore The Role Of Women In Disasters: Propose Suggestions For Women Involvement In Disasters With Focus On Health Sector
Abolshams Asghari, Behnaz
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Disasters are the events which make serious disruption in the society. Women are mostly considered as the victims of these disasters and their role is often ignored. Overlooking the participation of women in disaster management means that half of the entire affected population is ignored. Iran is one of the disaster prone countries and since there is not any clear picture regarding role and contribution of women in disaster preparedness and response, this study aimed to explore the role of women in disaster and propose suggestions for women involvement in disasters with focus on health sector. Qualitative method of grounded theory was used in this study and data was gathered by semi-structured interview with 19 participants. Six main categories of findings emerged from the data, namely: needs of women in disasters, women’s vulnerability, women’s capacity in order to be involved in disaster management cycle, barriers in front of utilization of women’s capacity in disasters, role of women in delivering services in disasters and areas which need to be considered in planning for women contribution in disasters. The findings showed that women have special needs and are more vulnerable but their needs are neglected and their vulnerabilities are not recognized in disasters because available plans don’t consider their roles since the plans have been prepared mostly by men. So it is necessary review and revise available plans in order to institutionalized women's formal involvement in disaster management cycle through empowerment of women, strengthen their capacities and advocacy with policy makers and religious leaders and in line with available rules and regulations and Cultural boundaries.