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Welcome to the Gender & Disaster Pod E-Newsletter
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October Communiqué

Masculinism, global warming and ‘man-made’ disasters:

Towards a profeminist environmentalist response

The GAD Pod highly recommends this important event in Melbourne! Professor Bob Pease, University of Tasmania, will present his Chapter on “Masculinism, global warming and ‘man-made’ disasters” from the new book, Men, Masculinities and Disaster co-edited by Prof. Pease and US disaster scholar, Dr Elaine Enarson.

Meet on Tuesday 15th November at 5pm for drinks and nibbles, presentation at 5.30pm and Q&A at 6.30pm. The venue is Building 80, Level 5, Room 12, RMIT University, 445 Swanston Street, Melbourne.  To register your attendance, please email kerrie.mould@rmit.edu.au by COB Thursday 10 November. Registration and attendance is free.

Keep an eye out for our chapter too:  ‘Men Reveal the Emotional and Personal Costs of the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria, Australia’ in Enarson, E. & Pease, B. (Eds.) Men, Masculinities and Disaster: Revisiting the Gendered Terrain of Disaster. London: Routledge.

Gendered Policy Analysis

The Women’s Policy Action Tank has initiated the Scorecard on Women and Policy project, in which a gender lens is used to analyse government policy. These are short, sharp pieces of approximately 600 words that analyse a specific policy or set of policies.  Contributions include one from the GAD Pod, on how disaster-preparedness protocols don’t reflect the unique challenges women face during times of disaster.  We encourage you to read it, and many more! Their website includes a wealth of contributions and states:   

“WOMEN AND MEN EXPERIENCE THE IMPACTS OF POLICY IN DIVERGENT WAYS. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THIS FACT IS EVIDENT IN SPECIFIC POLICY AREAS SUCH AS CHILDCARE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. THE VAST MAJORITY OF POLICIES, HOWEVER, PURPORT TO BE GENDER-NEUTRAL. THERE IS GROWING CONCERN THAT THIS APPROACH DRASTICALLY FAILS WOMEN, CONTRIBUTING TO A FEMINISATION OF POVERTY, NEGATIVE HEALTH AND SAFETY CONSEQUENCES AND AN ACCRUAL OF DISADVANTAGE ACROSS THE LIFESPAN.”

ABC, GAD Pod and 1800RESPECT partnership to help women in times of disaster

The Gender and Disaster Pod (GAD Pod) partnered with 1800RESPECT and the ABC to produce a community service announcement (CSA) to raise awareness of the increased risk of gendered violence in times of disaster. For the second year, the CSA will be played on ABC Regional Television, radio and social media platforms over the summer from the 16th October, and promotes the important role a friend, family member or frontline worker can play in supporting a woman at risk of or experiencing domestic violence.
 
Fiona Reynolds, Director of ABC Regional said,  “Through emergency broadcasting, our teams support Australians when they are at their most vulnerable. We see the physical and emotional impacts of natural disasters on families, including through violence, and want to help by raising awareness and providing important information”.
 
The Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash, said “Sexual assault, domestic and family violence has a devastating impact in Australia, with one in four women having experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner, boyfriend or date. In the traumatic aftermath of a natural disaster, the risk for women and children can increase. Many families are left homeless and unemployed. These stresses – combined with the demands of trying to rebuild homes and lives – can leave women and children more vulnerable. This is compounded by the fact that women in regional and remote communities often have difficulty finding support for gendered violence because of limited accessibility to local services.” Senator Cash said. “1800RESPECT has produced these resources to assist women, their family, friends and frontline workers to understand the issue and respond appropriately. The partnership support of the ABC helps ensure we can reach women in need particularly those in regional, rural and remote areas.”
 
In addition to the CSA, 1800RESPECT collaborated with the GAD Pod to produce other support resources for women affected by violence in disaster. These resources can be found on the 1800RESPECT.org.au website, and other resources at www.genderanddisaster.com.au. Watch the CSA here.

The GAD Taskforce and the Diversity and Inclusion Framework

After its establishment in early 2014, the Gender and Disaster Taskforce is to finish, making way for the Victorian Emergency Management Diversity and Inclusion Framework.

Watch Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, introduce the Framework here.

Action on prevention of disasters

Prevention of disasters – as prevention of violence against women – is critical to the health and wellbeing of women and men. Women’s Health In the North has prioritised Environmental Justice, and Women’s Health Goulburn North East has focussed its research work on disasters since Black Saturday. Actions over the past month to prevent disasters include the following:
 
Submission on Paris Agreement
Our submission to the Inquiry into the Paris Agreement urged climate action and a gendered approach. It can be seen here (Number 37, and see Number 10 from CAHA).

CAHA Health Leaders’ Roundtable
The GAD pod/ WHIN were represented at a Health Leaders Roundtable at Parliament House in Canberra on October 10th at the invitation of the Climate and Health Alliance, (CAHA). Become a member here.  The purpose was to advocate for CAHA’s Discussion Paper: Towards A National Strategy on Climate, Health and Well-being for Australia.

Before this, our group of about 20 high level health representatives met with Ken Wyatt (Asst. Health Minister), Catherine King (Shadow Health Minister) and Richard Di Natale (Greens Health Spokesperson). The Hon. Ken Wyatt referred to the meeting as ‘historic’:

(Thanks to Fiona Armstrong for the picture.)

The meeting with Parliamentarians was hosted by CAHA, the Public Health Association of Australia, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association and the Australian College of Nursing.
 
We congratulate Fiona Armstrong, CAHA ED, on her inclusion as one of Australia’s 100 most influential women!

Actions for you: Watch “Before the flood”
Before the Flood is a new documentary tracing U.N. Messenger of Peace, Leonardo DiCaprio, as he interviews women and men in both developing and developed nations who speak on what must be done today and in the future to prevent extreme weather events and catastrophic disruption of life on our planet. Watch it for free.
 
And there’s a thematically related event for people in Melbourne! Less Meat Less Heat are launching their new app ‘The Climatarian Challenge’ on the 12th of November in Southbank, Melbourne.
 

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