Nahid Rezwana

Disasters and access to healthcare in the coastal region of Bangladesh: a gendered analysis


This research focuses on the gender-specific health impacts of cyclones, and the factors shaping accessibility to healthcare in disasters. It also investigates current disaster plans and policies for pre-and post-disaster healthcare provision, and to what extent they account for gender. The study is situated in Barguna, Bangladesh, highly vulnerable to cyclones due to its remote coastal location, poor socio-economic conditions and transport, and insufficient healthcare provision.

Qualitative research methodology has been followed in an aim to capture local people's (especially women's) views and experiences more effectively from the disaster prone regions. This research found a number of determinants increased the suffering of female victims of Cyclone Sidr and Cyclone Mahasen in Barguna, among all gender and its relation with social attitude, norms and culture are the most significant. Women’s healthcare gets less priority and gets delayed despite women facing more health problems. However, prevailing disaster management plans consider 'women' without the context of gender relations, which raises serious questions about the successful implementation of disaster plans. The thesis recommends consideration of deeply rooted social determinants, and gender-sensitive disaster management plans that focus on local culture, society and economic conditions. In this way, more effective implementation of disaster management plans may establish equality in healthcare access and reduce women’s vulnerability to future cyclones.


Seminars attended/Poster presentations