The need to spotlight gender in climate and disaster work

The impacts of climate and disaster work are gendered. Evidence shows women have more of the emotional and psychological burden during and after disasters. They are more likely to prioritise the care of others at the expense of their own physical health, social and mental wellbeing. [1]

Women are more often expected to sacrifice their paid work to take on more unpaid caregiving for vulnerable family members and children. [2] This means that women may recover at a slower rate than men from major economic losses during disasters. Gendered violence also increases in the aftermath of disasters.

Through Our equal state, we will consider the needs of all Victorians in preparing for disaster, response and recovery, particularly given Australia’s increasing risk of natural disasters.

Case study: funding to women in flood-affected areas

Following the devastating 2022 floods, we are supporting 4 women’s health services to provide tailored and targeted support to women who are most affected.

A total of $1.2 million is being provided to Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health, GenWest, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee and Women’s Health Goulburn North East – organisations that have all played a critical role in supporting women through disasters.

Funding is enabling activities and projects that:

  • bring women together to reconnect and support their emotional and social wellbeing
  • offer training for women and organisations that support women in disaster response and recovery
  • connect women affected by floods to local supports and services.

As part of this, we are funding research on the needs of migrant and refugee women affected by disasters. This research will inform a best practice guide for service providers.


[1] D Parkinson, A Duncan and C Weiss, The impact on women’s health of climatic and economic disaster, Australian Women’s Health Network, 2014, accessed 6 February 2023.…

[2] T Hazeleger, ‘Gender and disaster recovery: strategic issues and action in Australia’, Australian Journal of Emergency Management, 2013, accessed 11 January 2023.

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