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Gender and Disaster Network

Pacific-Oceania Region

Kia ora, Talofa lav’a, Kia orana, lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Bula vinaka, Namaste, Talofa ni, Halo ola keta, Mauri and welcome to the GDN Pacific-Oceania Regional Hub.

The Gender and Disaster Network is an educational project initiated by women and men interested in gender relations in disaster contexts.
Our region includes New Zealand/Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific Region.

This website is a resource for anyone interested in gender and disasters in the Pacific-Oceania Region.

We will use it to collect and share news, information, research and resources. This will include recent research, stories of women’s and men’s experiences before, during, and after disasters.

Navigation is available from this set of pages via the right column menu to expanded pages about:

  • Research
  • Resources
  • Getting help

The Pacifica/Oceania hub is coordinated by Dr Lesley PattersonDr Lesley Patterson is a sociologist who joined the Joint Centre for Disaster Research in an affiliated role. at Massey University Joint Centre for Disaster Research.

To find out more, please contact email Dr. Patterson by email L.Patterson@massey.ac.nz.

Gender and disasters

Disasters do not affect everyone equally. After a disaster some feelings of stress are a normal response to an extraordinary event.  It is normal to feel like you are not in control and don’t have all the answers.

Research shows some people are more vulnerable to ongoing stress than others, in particular women and children.

Women are made more vulnerable by society’s expectations of their role, their pre-disaster family responsibilities are magnified and expanded by a disaster and they have significantly less support and resources. Existing inequalities are likely to become heightened.

For more in-depth information on gender and disaster issues view the Gender and Disaster Source Book.

The region

The Pacifica-Oceania area is vulnerable to a range of natural hazards including earthquakes, tsunami, flooding, bushfires, volcano eruptions and drought.


Australia is affected by a number of natural disasters including floods, bushfires, severe storms and cyclones, and in some areas, earthquakes which impact on the personal and economic lives of Australians.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s position on the ‘ring of fire’ makes it prone to floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and fire as well as human-made disasters such as mining accidents, fires, and transport accidents.