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Measuring Social Vulnerability of Women in Sri Lanka Over Time

Authors: Anna Baker*, University of North Texas
Topics: Hazards and Vulnerability, Women, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: Social Vulnerability, Sri Lanka,
Session Type: Guided Poster
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


While out of the ordinary, disasters tend to recreate existing patterns of disparity and inequality already present in society in a more severe fashion. One prime example of this phenomenon is the casualty pattern found in Sri Lanka following the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, wherein three quarters of the casualties were women. In order to examine the patterns of social vulnerability of women in Sri Lanka, this paper will apply the access model of social vulnerability to three time periods, which will allow the researchers to examine the population more holistically and historically. The access model will be the basis for an index of social vulnerability based on its four components: exposure, structural sensitivity, household sensitivity, and coping capacity. This index will be recreated three times, the first based on the 1980s during the beginning of the civil war and the financial crisis, 2005 following the tsunami and two decades of the civil war, and 2009, after the end of the civil war during the reconstruction and the rise of authoritarianism. In addition to a quantitative analysis of vulnerability, there will also be sections contextualizing the choices made in the index and explanations of additional factors not to be included.

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