Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Liberal Studies


Chiseche Mibenge

Subject Categories

International Law | International Relations


Gender; Haiti; Indonesia; Natural Disasters; New Orleans; Vulnerability


A natural disaster is a major adverse event resulting from natural processes of the earth that overwhelm local response and affect the social and economic development of the affected region. Natural disasters have been seen as situations that create challenges and difficulties mainly of a humanitarian nature. Still, progressively, it has come to be recognized that a gendered approach to humanitarian response is essential for vulnerable populations such as girls and women. Even though information about particular cases is scarce, evidence indicates that women are more likely to die after a natural disaster not because of biological reasons but because of gender norms that commonly forbid women's access to aid, food, and information

In this context, my research will focus in finding how the embedded cultural beliefs of humanitarian actors, and authorities, contribute to the failure to acknowledge the gender specific needs of the female population during the aftermath of a natural disaster. The cases of the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast in 2005, and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010 will present an insight into the particular vulnerability that women endure.