Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Key to building disaster resilience

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This report is relevant for humanitarian and development practitioners, especially those working in DRR, SRHR and gender equality, because it provides important linkages between poverty, gender equality, bodily autonomy and DRR while drawing upon recent disasters and their differential impacts.

This report highlights the linkages between SRHR and disaster resilience, drawing upon the SDG framework to recommend that DRR must be rights-based and inclusive of SRHR, especially for women and girls. The report does not focus on sexual and gender minorities, and notes that the gap in research on SRHR needs and experiences of sexual and gender minorities in disasters is significant and deserving of immediate attention.

The report makes the following key points: disasters are not natural, but are the result of mismanagement and vulnerabilities; development must be risk-informed; socio-economic and cultural factors augment vulnerabilities for women, girls and marginalised groups (including sexual and gender minorities) in disasters; gender equality cannot be achieved without bodily autonomy; and an inclusive and rights-based approach to DRR is the way forward. The report looks at the ways in which vulnerability, gender, and SRHR are linked, providing useful summaries, resources and diagrams.

The report makes a point of highlighting existing research on the experiences of sexual and gender minorities in disaster, pointing to research on the Aravanis in Tamil Nadu, trans women in Sindh, Pakistan; the marginalisation of the LGBTQI community in Japan after the 2011 earthquake; the contributions of the Waria following the Mt Merapi eruption in Indonesia; and the role of the Bakla in the Philippines.

The report frames SRHR and DRR within the SDG frameworks, demonstrating their connections across these agendas. The report then provides recommendations for actions for integrating SRHR in DRR work, highlighting the importance of bodily autonomy as part of the greater struggle for gender equality. Some of the recommendations include developing capacities of grassroots organisations and women’s movements; providing universal access to SRH; revise DRR laws, plans and policies to ensure that ‘no person is excluded in any phase of disaster management, especially the historically marginalised groups such as sexual minorities’; and more.

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"...very little has been written about the contribution of the LGBTQI to society before and after a disaster, invisibilising their efforts."

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This report highlights the linkages between SRHR and disaster resilience, drawing upon the SDG framework to recommend that DRR must be rights-based and inclusive of SRHR, especially for women and girls. The report does not focus on sexual and gender minorities, and notes that the gap in research on SRHR needs and experiences of sexual and gender minorities in disasters is significant and deserving of immediate attention.

The report makes the following key points: disasters are not natural, but are the result of mismanagement and vulnerabilities; development must be risk-informed; socio-economic and cultural factors augment vulnerabilities for women, girls and marginalised groups (including sexual and gender minorities) in disasters; gender equality cannot be achieved without bodily autonomy; and an inclusive and rights-based approach to DRR is the way forward. The report looks at the ways in which vulnerability, gender, and SRHR are linked, providing useful summaries, resources and diagrams.

The report makes a point of highlighting existing research on the experiences of sexual and gender minorities in disaster, pointing to research on the Aravanis in Tamil Nadu, trans women in Sindh, Pakistan; the marginalisation of the LGBTQI community in Japan after the 2011 earthquake; the contributions of the Waria following the Mt Merapi eruption in Indonesia; and the role of the Bakla in the Philippines.

The report frames SRHR and DRR within the SDG frameworks, demonstrating their connections across these agendas. The report then provides recommendations for actions for integrating SRHR in DRR work, highlighting the importance of bodily autonomy as part of the greater struggle for gender equality. Some of the recommendations include developing capacities of grassroots organisations and women’s movements; providing universal access to SRH; revise DRR laws, plans and policies to ensure that ‘no person is excluded in any phase of disaster management, especially the historically marginalised groups such as sexual minorities’; and more.