Gender refers to a person’s position and role in society based on their biological wiring, roles acquired through socialization, and the scope of relations in society. In most societies, gender is viewed as a master status. Gender plays a vital role in determining various responsibilities ascribed to men and women in society. By and large, gender denotes roles that are attached to either being male or female. Sex is used in reference to biological characteristics that classify a person as either being male or female. Sexuality refers to the feelings that arise from the ability to desire sex. Gender relations play an immeasurable role in determining gender prospects in society. It determines opportunities available and the chance for achievement.
In disaster situations, women experience hurdles that are peculiar to them. For example, women in most cultures have limited access to mainstream media. In case of an emergency alert, women are less likely to access information than men. In most cultures, women have limited access to internet.
This effectively isolates them from alerts preceding a disaster. During disasters, gender relations affect both sexes in various ways. For example, women are quick to act but cultural stereotyping limits them in the realm of decision -making. This means that women cannot make important decisions for the family in case a disaster occurs. On the other hand, men are unavailable during disasters.
Gender is strongly related to other social factors relating to disaster management. Women are unable to act decisively since most of them lack economic control. For example, women may lack money to fuel vehicles to assist in easy mobility and evacuation. Men resist evacuation so as to cushion property from looters. This places them in great danger. This means that gender is a relevant factor in disaster vulnerability. During disasters, men and women are vulnerable in different ways. In disaster management, gender mainstreaming is very important. For example, working in partnership with women groups empowers women in disaster situations. This can also be achieved through risk mapping with due cognizance to gender.
Good health is a basic human right and a leading concern for all human beings. Health means more than the mere absence of illness. It is a relevant aspect in relation to disaster management. Health is relative to other factors such as gender, chronological age, and social role in society. Health is a very relevant area of study in relation to vulnerability. During disasters, health condition plays a major role in determining vulnerability of segments in the general population. As a matter of fact, ill-health exposes people to danger in times of disaster. Disease can also be a causative agent in a disaster. The state of health facilities plays a key role in examining the vulnerability of people in the crisis zone.
There are certain terminologies relevant to disaster management. One such terminology relates is health disparities. These are the inequalities related to health of the population. They have a direct bearing on the vulnerability of individuals. Health ecology explores the connection between the affected individual and their surroundings. However, it is important to ensure that the population enjoys good health during and after a disaster. This should be undertaken cautiously considering that health can trigger a disaster through spreading of diseases.
Management of health during emergencies is a key area in disaster management. This can be made achievable by integrating health systems. This promotes co-ordination and unison in managing a disaster. This saves time, money, and lives. A good health system plays a key role in promoting resilience during a disaster. Stakeholders in the health sector can play a major role in getting out to the persons during and after a disaster. This can be achieved by creating avenues through which people can access information relating to disaster management and safety. Such outreach should also cater for the period after a disaster. This will go a long way in reducing trauma and any related effects of a disaster.
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