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Raquel Guimaraes is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at IIASA with support from the Brazilian Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES). She is currently hosted by the IIASA World Population (POP) program. Dr. Guimaraes is currently on sabbatical leave from her appointment as an Adjunct Professor in the Economics Department at the Federal University of Paraná (Brazil), where she carries out research on, as well as teaching, economic demography, development microeconomics and applied microeconometrics.
In her research at IIASA, Dr. Guimaraes aims to contribute to the extant literature and to policy-making in the field of Population and Environment. She analyzes gender differentials in flood-preparedness drawing on a case study from Brazil and Thailand.
The idea of focusing on gender outcomes after a shock may be seem, at first, as a misplaced priority by part of the general public and the academic and policy community. This is because it is usually assumed that natural disasters are exogenous events which, by consequence, do affect individuals in an equal manner. However, a new bunch of research has been demonstrating that disasters are extremely gendered events in both of their impacts and the responses to them. Studies show, for instance, that before and during climate disasters women are more likely to be responsible for the practical preparation of the household, informing family members, storing food and water, and protecting family belongings. Differently, other research documents that men are more likely to liaise with government officials, prepare the outsides of buildings, make decisions about evacuation and timing, manage water resources, distribute emergency relief, and receive and disseminate early warnings to the community.
In the investigation of flood-disaster preparedness, recent case studies have proven the relevance of including the gender dimension: in some contexts, because of cultural norms, women were prone to not leave their houses during floods. Also, in some settings, women were found to be particularly affected as they were weakly represented in the flood-planning response and overall decision-making processes. Also, research demonstrated that information on disaster did not reach females adequately, thus exposing gaps in risk communication.
Although there are researchers already devoted to the issue of gender and floods, there is an increasing need for more gender-focused case studies research to contextualize gender discrepancies in more depth and at a local scale. In her research at IIASA, Dr. Guimaraes is adding insights to current knowledge drawing on case studies from Brazil and Thailand.
Last update: 29-JAN-2020
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