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Gender and natural disasters in Bangladesh

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  1. Introduction
  2. Natural disasters in Bangladesh
  3. Bangladeshi women: the greatest victims of natural disasters
  4. Adaptation of women in the face of natural disasters
  5. Conclusion

The issue of natural and climate-related disasters in Bangladesh is not a recent problem but its take-up as one of the key issues of the country and its integration in local and national policies aiming at finding ways to adapt the state to the impacts of natural hazards is fairly new. Even more recent is the birth of a gender-oriented perspective in natural disasters research and responses: indeed, natural disasters are not gender-neutral events and the existing linkage between gender and natural hazards is to be taken into account.

If this link can be observed in many disaster-prone countries, it represents in Bangladesh a major issue: badly hurt by natural and climate-related disasters, Bangladesh is also a developing country where social inequalities, especially gender inequalities, are heavily developed. As a result, these important gender issues tend to make women more vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters. This paper will therefore focus on making the link between gender and natural disasters in Bangladesh explicit by answering these questions: to what extent the gender issues in Bangladesh magnify the impact of natural disasters on Bangladeshi women? Do adaptation strategies to this phenomenon exist?

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