Long-term gendered consequences of permanent disabilities caused by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake

Disasters. 2012 Jul;36(3):452-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7717.2011.01265.x. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


This study documents the long-term gendered impact of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake on women and men who were rendered paraplegic as a result of spinal cord injuries sustained during the disaster. Coping mechanisms are also mapped. The findings show that three years after the disaster, paraplegic women are socially, emotionally, and financially isolated. The small stipend they receive is a significant source of income, but it has also led to marital distrust, violence, and abuse. In contrast, men receive full social and emotional support. Their key concern is that the government is not providing them with opportunities to be economically productive. Contemporary discourse and post-disaster policies, while acknowledging the importance of incorporating a gender perspective in the immediate post-disaster period, have failed to acknowledge and address the longer-term gendered impact of disasters, in terms of the different types of impact and strategies adopted by women and men.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Earthquakes* / economics
  • Earthquakes* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marriage
  • Pakistan
  • Paraplegia / economics
  • Paraplegia / psychology*
  • Prejudice
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Support
  • Time