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To improve disaster risk reduction, aid and tech experts look to women

Photo Credit: World Meteorological Organization/CC BY-NC-ND

LONDON — Women bear the brunt of the impact of natural disasters, an outcome most starkly illustrated by mortality rates. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami saw male survivors in Indonesia and Sri Lanka outnumber their female counterparts by up to 4 to 1. And when Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar in 2008, some villages had twice as many deaths among women compared with men.

During times of evacuation, women can often be found caring for children and members of their community, and those who survive extreme weather events face a lack of resources and a greater threat of violence and sexual exploitation. These factors require that governments and aid groups take varying needs into account during disasters and increase women’s participation in prevention and response, experts told Devex.

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