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AIT’s Assoc. Professor Kyoko Kusakabe, Professor Rajendra Shrestha and Veena N. edit new book ‘Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster in Asia’

AIT faculty members Assoc. Professor Kyoko Kusakabe, Gender and Development Studies (GDS), Prof. Rajendra Shrestha, Natural Resources Management (NRM) and researcher and writer Ms. Veena N. (GDS/NRM) have combined to edit a newly published book titled ‘Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster in Asia’.

Published by Springer in 2015 as Volume 21 of its series ‘Springer Briefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace’, the seven chapter publication is a unique exploration of an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of gender and development studies, disaster and land tenure policy.

 

Research presented in the 112-page publication focuses on five Asian countries: India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Philippines, and the case studies from the field stress the importance of land tenure systems during a disaster.

 

Spawned from the FAO supported ‘Expert Consultation on Land Tenure and Disaster and its Social and Gender Impact’ organized at the Asian Institute of Technology in November 2013, the book features the work of twelve contributing authors and introduces new areas of research and policy for scholars of the subject.

 

In the introduction chapter titled ‘Gender and Land Tenure in the Context of Disaster, authors Veena N. and Assoc. Prof. Kusakabe set the tone by examining land and disaster, gender and land tenure in Asia, gender, land and disaster, and case studies from marginalized communities in Asia. The gender experts offer scholarly hopes and strategies for empowerment, in their conclusion.

 

It is well known that women generally have weaker claims to land. So the editors ask: “How does that translate to increased vulnerability during disaster?” Using case studies from Asia, the book argues that land tenure is a key factor in mitigating the impact of disasters on women.

 

The editors state that “as the scale and frequency of disasters have been increasing in recent decades due to human impact on the landscape and climate, and unsustainable farming and land management systems have increased environmental risks and social vulnerabilities – around the world the costs of disasters are disproportionately borne by women.

 

“Women are more vulnerable to disaster, due to their reduced mobility and lack of control over assets. In post-disaster settings, women’s vulnerabilities increase due to gendered rescue and rehabilitation practices.”

 

“A gendered approach to land rights is critical to disaster preparedness and rehabilitation,” they conclude.

 

The AIT editors thanked Prof. Sivanappan Kumar, AIT Vice President for Academic Affairs for his encouragement and support. They also extended appreciation to series editor Dr. Hans Günter Brauch and the many reviewers, including Dr. Mokbul Morshed Ahmad of AIT.