This report identifies the complex ways gender relations shape human experiences before, during, and after natural disasters, particularly in relation to employment. The report is divided into four main topics: the social construction of vulnerability to 'natural' disasters, particularly on the basis of gender relations; the specific impacts of disasters on women's paid and unpaid work; concerns that arise for workers on the ground; and policy and research implications for using knowledge about gender, work and employment in natural disasters. Women's economic insecurity increases, as their productive assets are destroyed. Women's workload also increases dramatically. They often take on more waged or other forms of income-generating work; engage in a number of new forms of 'disaster work', including emergency response and political organising; and have expanded responsibilities as caregivers. Three broad conclusions emerge: that both women and men have specific short-term needs and long-term interests in disasters; women are key economic actors throughout the disaster cycle of preparedness, mitigation, relief, and reconstruction; and women's economic vulnerability to future disasters is increased by lack of attention to gender equity in disaster interventions.

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Disaster risk reduction