Barber presents research to Canadian audiences | Sociology | SIU

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Barber presents research to Canadian audiences

Kristen BarberAssistant Professor Kristen Barber recently visited the Mount Royal University Centre for Community Disaster Research in Calgary, Alberta to discuss challenges faced during Hurricane Katrina.

During her September 25 presentation, "Were the Women Washed Away? The Gender of Vulnerability and Resiliency in Disaster," Barber examined the sharp contrasts depicted in the days following the 2005 hurricane. Among other things, she points to gender as "an important variable shaping experiences of disaster," but one often overlooked by scholars:

"Women face unique challenges in disaster preparedness, evacuation, and recovery. Poor women of color, especially single mothers, have special needs that are not considered by emergency response organizations, leaving women and their kin to face higher rates of domestic and sexual violence, reproductive and prenatal health complications, and loss of social networks important for everyday survival."

Barber spoke of these and other issues women faced during Hurricane Katrina, advocating for disaster scholarship that both is gender sensitive and takes an intersectional approach to examining risk and resiliency.