Gender and floods in Bangladesh


This paper will present the gender dimension of flood experiences in Bangladesh. It primarily illustrates the psycho-social experiences and coping strategies of women and female adolescents who live mainly in urban areas, who were affected in the floods of 1998. The research also relies on my own and secondary data on flood experiences in rural areas. Women’s social, economic and political position in societies differ, making them more or less vulnerable to disaster situations. It is well understood that gender relations structure people’s ability to anticipate, prepare for, survive, cope with, and recover from disasters. In the context of Bangladesh, a large part of women’s vulnerability is caused by gender norms, expectations and social roles. Women are disadvantaged because of their subordinate position in the family arising out of patriarchy and traditionally embedded cultural values. Therefore, women are doubly disadvantaged during a disaster time, as they have limited mobility due to cultural norms of honor and shame, and purdah and most are extremely dependent on male members of the household. The aim of the paper is to give the readers psychosocial insights into women’s experiences during the floods.

Related information

  • Writer Name: Sabina Faiz Rashid
  • Published Date: Tuesday, 01 January 2002
  • Country: Bangladesh