Join us for a research seminar on how natural disasters affected gender relations in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Thursday 24 October 2019
Montserrat Díaz-Fernández; Full Professor; Oviedo University



This paper aims to analyse the consequences of natural disasters affecting gender relations in socioeconomic terms. To meet this objective, we quantitatively analysed the effect of the earthquake that occurred in Haiti in 2010 based on the data provided by the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), developed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

To measure the impact of the 2010 earthquake, we used the differences in differences (DID) technique. The estimation shows how the disaster presents negative land-based effects that are increasing with the intensity of the earthquake and statistically significant on the wealth of families, regardless of the gender of the head of the family. However, we observe that these negative effects intensify when the household head is a woman, increasing the gap between the wealth of households headed by women and the rest of them.

These conclusions reinforce the idea that natural disasters have a negative impact on women and, specifically, on the economic possibilities of households headed by women and show that, at least in Haiti, the enormous gender inequalities previous to the earthquake do not decrease post-disaster but become more severe. These findings have important political implications that should not be disregarded.

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