1st Edition

Gender-Based Violence and Layered Disasters Place, Culture and Survival

By Nahid Rezwana, Rachel Pain Copyright 2023
    178 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    178 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the widespread and persistent relationship between disasters and gender-based violence, drawing on new research with victim-survivors to show how the two forms of harm constitute ‘layered disasters’ in particular places, intensifying and reproducing one another.

    The evidence is now overwhelming that disasters and gender-based violence are closely connected, not just in moments of crisis but in the years that follow as the social, economic and environmental impacts of disasters play out. This book addresses two key gaps in research. First, it examines what causes the relationship between disasters and gender-based violence to be so widespread and so enduring. Second, it highlights victim-survivors’ own accounts of gender-based violence and disasters. It does so by presenting findings from original research on cyclones and flooding in Bangladesh and the UK and a review of global evidence on the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on feminist theories, it conceptualises the coincidence of gender-based violence, disasters and other aggravating factors in particular places as ‘layered disasters.’ Taking an intersectional approach that emphasises the connections between culture, place, patriarchy, racism, poverty, settler-colonialism, environmental degradation and climate change, the authors show the significance of gender-based violence in creating vulnerability to future disasters. Forefronting victim-survivors’ experiences and understandings, the book explores the important role of trauma, and how those affected go about the process of survival and recovery. Understanding disasters as layered casts light on why tackling gender-based violence must be a key priority in disaster planning, management and recovery. The book concludes by exploring critiques of existing formal responses, which often ignore or underplay gender-based violence.

    The book will be of interest to all those interested in understanding the causes and impacts of disasters, as well as scholars and researchers of gender and gender-based violence.

    Chapter 1. Layered disasters and gender-based violence: A global perspective

    1.1 Gender-based violence within layered disasters

    1.2 Disasters and gender-based violence around the world

    1.3 Patriarchy as disastrous: Exploring the relationship between disasters and gender-based violence

    1.4 Disaster planning, management and recovery: multiple actors responding to GBV

    1.5 Methodological challenges and prospects

    1.6 The structure of the book


    Chapter 2. Gender-based violence before, during and after cyclones in the coastal region of Bangladesh

    2.1 Introduction

    2.2 Background: Disasters and GBV in Bangladesh

    2.3 Aims, study area and methodology

    2.4 GBV in Barguna during non-disaster periods

    2.5 GBV before, during and after disasters

    2.6 The impacts of GBV: health, socio-economic position and vulnerability to future disasters

    2.7 Conclusion: Women, the ultimate victims of GBV and disasters

    Chapter 3. The impacts of disasters and gender-based violence: flooding in Rangpur, Bangladesh

    3.1 Introduction: Studying GBV on the banks of River Jamunashawari, Rangpur, Bangladesh

    3.2 Background: the concurrence of flooding and GBV

    3.3 Aims and methodology

    3.4 Study area: Demographic and socio-economic characteristics of Kashiganj village

    3.5 Socio-cultural and gendered aspects of GBV in village life

    3.6 GBV during flooding and its aftermath

    3.7 Gendered power relations and GBV

    3.8 Conclusion

    Chapter 4. Flooding, mental health and crime: women's experiences in England

    4.1 Introduction

    4.2 Gender-based violence and disasters in the UK context

    4.3 Study area

    4.4 Methodology

    4.5 The impacts of flooding on housing and financial status

    4.6 The impacts of flooding on physical health, caring responsibilities and mental health

    4.7 Flooding, crime and GBV

    4.8 Conclusion

    Chapter 5. Disaster patriarchy in hyper-isolation: Covid-19 and gender-based violence

    5.1 Introduction

    5.2 Covid-19 and gender-based violence: global impacts

    5.3 The social and regional stratification of the risks of GBV during the pandemic

    5.4 Hyper-isolation during the pandemic

    5.5 Racialised disaster patriarchy and the pandemic

    5.6 Conclusion

    Chapter 6. Analysing the relationships between gender-based violence, disasters and place

    6.1 Introduction

    6.2 Place and culture in GBV and disasters

    6.3 The role of trauma within layered disasters

    6.4 Gendering violence

    6.5 Conclusion

    Chapter 7. Responding to gender-based violence during disasters

    7.1 Introduction

    7.2 Victim-survivors' strategies: growing resilience or living as victims?

    7.3 The limits of formal responses to layered disasters

    7.4 Recommendations for policy and practice

    7.5 Conclusion: responses to layered disasters


    Nahid Rezwana is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Her fields of interest are hazards and disaster management, gender, social inequalities, health and climate change. Her scholarship explores how and why disasters have uneven impacts on women and how these conditions could be improved with gender-sensitive disaster management.

    Rachel Pain is Professor of Human Geography at Newcastle University in the UK. Her research interests include gender-based violence, disasters and recovery, community and urban trauma, the relationships between domestic and sexual abuse and terrorism/warfare, and the theory, politics and practice of participatory/co-production approaches to research, learning and action.