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Vulnerability and the Coping Capacity of Women in Natural Disasters- An Indian Experience

Indian Journal of Sustainable Development

Volume 2 Issue 1

Published: 2016
Author(s) Name: Rajeev M. M. | Author(s) Affiliation: Asst Prof,Dept of Social Work,School of Social Sciences,Central Univ of Rajasthan,Rajasthan,India
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Abstract

Disasters affect men and women, the young and the old, the rich and the poor in different ways. Women are more vulnerable in disastrous situations and they need to be taken care of. Initiatives should be taken for this vulnerable group to reduce the vulnerability so that they can cope with disasters more effectively and efficiently. Women more than men are at risk of morbidity and mortality because of their gender role in terms of social, cultural and biological aspects (Meleis, 2005). Womens vulnerability to disasters is also shaped by traditional gender roles, power and privilege, low wages, and secondary responsibilities such as child care (Elaine Enarson and Betty H. Morrow). This study tries to understand the vulnerability and coping capacity of women during natural disasters, and various measures to be taken for reducing the coping capacity of women. The main objectives of the study are (1) to study how vulnerable women are to natural disasters. (2) to make aware of coping capacity of women in natural disasters. (3) to understand the major measures taken for reducing the vulnerability of women. The researcher used descriptive research design for the study. The researcher used questionnaires for conducting the study. The universe of the study is the flood affected women in Thalavadi Grama Panchayat in Kerala. The researcher used convenient sampling method for data collection. And statistical methods were used to analyze the collected data. The study pointed out that the governmental system, local self-government, non-governmental organizations, voluntary organizations have a pivotal role in addressing the problems of vulnerable groups. The most important findings described in this study are the limitations of local self-government in dealing with the assistance of financial aid to the people. The paper concludes that women must be less vulnerable to disasters through empowerment initiatives before, during and after disasters.

Keywords: Coping Capacity, Vulnerable Groups, Convenient Sampling, Empowerment

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