Paper: Reading Gender in disaster related involuntary displacement

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Paper authors Janki Andharia
In panel on The challenge of reframing displacement in recent times - The actors and meanings of terms
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Reading Gender in disaster related involuntary displacement
Janki Andharia and Sonu Tewari

Over the last decade, disasters triggered due to natural hazards have become one of the leading causes of internal displacement around the world. In the ten years since 2009, the internal displacement monitoring center (IDMC) has globally recorded an average of 23.3 million new displacement cases every year due to disasters triggered by natural hazards. This paper examines women’s experiences of displacement in the Indian part of Sundarbans. This region is recognised as a climate hotspot, is experiencing large scale displacement of people due to climate change related threats such as sea level rise, increase in surface temperature, erosion, tropical cyclones and floods. While recognizing that the displaced exert agency, it is important to interrogate resilience discourse in disasters and displacement. Further, the narratives of the displaced are gendered and often compete with those created by the government or host communities. Juxtaposing these may be useful in providing insights into women’s experiences of being displaced. This is especially so in a context where women and girls tend to be at greater risk of deprivation, insecurity, abuse, neglect and a general deterioration of their wellbeing. What kind of humanitarian response is required in such a situation?



Janki Andharia