You Go Girl: Make It, Plan It, Share It Go Gear!

May 10, 2010
By Maya_Sariahmed

I am interested in women’s issues as they relate to disaster management within the Red Cross. Gender mainstreaming efforts in disaster planning and preparedness acknowledges the differential aspects of gender and how it effects a community’s response to disaster. Women are proven to assess risk differently than men, act more collectively, and are more concerned about solidarity. If we consider a woman to be the predominant caregiver and central foundation of her family, how is that role passed down to other generations? I want to create printed, personal keepsakes that draw on the solidarity that is built between mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and sisters. Girls will be given small, illustrated guidebooks that encourage the documentation of all of their own personal safety measures taught to them by the women in their home. The booklet will be part instructional and part open-ended, with empty pages for personalized content. Girls will have a book filled with space to record everything from drawings of their family’s house plan, to tried and true chicken soup recipes to face the disastrous flu. The idea is to draw from personal knowledge learned from one’s own intimate family experiences and give a platform for the informal, anecdotal bits of comfort we gather from one another when facing even the smallest of disasters. The document created will allow for that intimate knowledge to be recorded and passed on. I want to change the experience of a disaster into one that brings in familiarity and personal empowerment for all young women.

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