Reinventing the Gender Wheel: what does a gendered approach to disaster management need to avoid?

Jenna Murray de Lopez (The University of Manchester)
Jenna Murray de Lopez
C: Development cooperation and Humanitarianism
Start time:
27 June, 2018 at 14:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel discusses the established critiques of GAD to interrogate how gender is conceptualised in disaster management settings, with the aim of pressing pause and reflecting upon how the reproduction of inequalities and the feminisation of disaster response can be avoided.

Long abstract:

Inclusion of gender specific guidelines into disaster risk management policies is increasingly orthodox and normative. This policy agenda has been shaped by an increasing amount of gender-focused research within disaster studies, which draws upon the history of gender inclusive frameworks in development (Enarson 1998, Drolet et al 2015, Gaillard et al 2017). However, whilst aiming to address inequalities both existing and brought about in disaster settings, an uncritical adaptation of the GAD approach threatens to make similar mistakes of diverting or reproducing inequalities amongst genders. This panel invites papers to consider the well documented critiques of gender and development (GAD) (e.g. Chant 2008) that broadly argue a) women are essentialised, b) existing gender inequalities are capitalised upon, and c) the experiences and needs of different genders must be sufficiently contextualised. Taking inspiration from the call in anthropology, by Vincanne Adams and colleagues for Slow Research, this panel aims to explore what knowledge can be taken from lessons already learnt in GAD as a way to advance more effective gender-centric frameworks in disaster management. We invite papers to consider pressing pause on the enthusiasm to include gender in disaster risk management, and momentarily reflect upon what has previously been learnt about gender through critical GAD studies. We particularly welcome papers that utilise interdisciplinary approaches to thinking and research including (though not exclusive to): human geography; anthropology; development studies; sociology, and particularly those that draw from theories of the Global South.