Disasters do not discriminate but their impact does. Disasters, whether they are manmade or related to natural hazards, affect women, men, boys and girls differently. Moreover, women face barriers to recovery related to the structures of the society themselves. This means that gender inequalities in society translate into increased vulnerability to the impacts of disasters. Women are also widely excluded from decision-making affecting their lives and businesses.
Women are overrepresented in economic sectors hit hardest by disasters. Unpaid care work and gender-based violence tend to rise in disasters, and women are more affected by the high rate of job losses that occurs in the aftermath of disasters. The private sector has the potential to play a leading role in addressing gender inequalities while at the same time pursuing its business interests through better preparedness, response and recovery.
COVID-19 is a key concern also for the private sector and disaster management. The pandemic is having devastating effects on gender equality, but also presents a window of opportunity for understanding the connections between gender, the private sector and disaster management.
CBi is developing materials to assist the private sector in these efforts, that can be found here.