INTRODUCTION other low income countries, Pakistan is one of

INTRODUCTION

Every year millions of people are
getting affected by both natural and anthropogenic disasters. According to
EM-DAT (2016) a total of 12325 natural disasters have occurred at the global
level in the past fifty years which affected 6.8 billion people. These
disasters have negatively affected the lives, livelihood and socio-economic
fabric of the disaster affected communities (Azad et al., 2013). The impact on
the low and medium income countries was catastrophic due to weak
infrastructure, lack of standard early warning system, low level of
preparedness and mitigation planning and problems in the disaster risk
communication. Like other low income countries, Pakistan is one of the hard hit
nations of both anthropogenic and natural disasters. Rapid deforestation,
fragile natural environment, uncontrolled population growth, ecological changes
due to climate change, erosion, fluctuation of glaciers, varied climate and
topography are some of the causes which is increasing the risk of disasters in
Pakistan (CDPM, 2011). The most recent examples of such disasters in Pakistan
are the earthquake 2005, floods 2010 and earthquake 2015. Among all these
disasters floods 2010 have surfaced the recorded damages of other disasters in
Pakistan (Aziz, 2015).

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The Federal Flood Commission (2010) data
reveals that in the last 63 years the country has experienced financial losses
of 38.16 billion US dollar and around 197230 villages have been damaged by
floods. Amongst all floods occurred in Pakistan, floods 2010 was more
catastrophic. As per the Damage Needs Assessment (DNA) report of flood 2010,
the flood directly affected 20 million people in 16000 villages in 78 districts
of the country (Asian Development Bank, 2010). Houses, buildings, agricultural
crops, bridges, roads, railway lines, commercial markets and canals were
damaged by this catastrophic flood in Pakistan (Azad et al. 2013). The unplanned
development activities, urbanization, land use changes, encroachment of active
flood plains, lack of implementation of disaster management policies and plans,
coupled with increasing snow melting due to rise in temperature and heavy
precipitation increase the vulnerability of the population to floods (Green et al. 2000).

Like other provinces of Pakistan, almost
every year Punjab faces floods of varied intensity due to climatic conditions
and increase in temperature (Naru 2012). With the large
portion of arable land, Punjab has the main food basket of the country and also
having the system of five rivers which flows through the province namely
Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Sutlej and Indus River (Khan 2011). Due to the
existence of the rivers in Punjab, most of the districts and villages faced
flooding and are on risk for different types of floods i.e, riverine, flash and
urban floods (PDMA 2015). The 2010 flood
affected 7.3 million peoples and demolished thousands of housing units.
Similarly in 2014 heavy monsoon floods causes severe damages in Punjab.

Multan is one of the main cities of
southern Punjab. The Sutlej River separates it from Bahawalpur
and the Chenab River from Muzaffar
Garh. Rural areas of Multan are exposed to flooding. According to
FOCUS (2014), the flood 2014 affected 12 UC’s and disturbed more than 268002
people in six villages. Similarly, 2010 floods affected tehsil Shujabad and
disturbed 89,194 people with damages to 225000 acre of agricultural land.

None of the above mentioned cases can be
considered as an act of God. These multiple episodes of disasters actually took
place in the context of vulnerability and exposure due to access to resources
and information in society. Vulnerability refers to all the weaknesses of
social, economic, physical and environmental nature which reduces the capacity
of individuals, families, communities or countries to mitigate the negative consequences
of disasters and prepare for any unforeseen disaster event. In others words it
is the state of susceptibility to harm from exposure to multiple stresses
associated with social, economic, physical or environmental changes and from
the absence of capacities to adopt to changing circumstances (
Alleyne, 2006). The concept of
vulnerability ranges from measurement of socio-economic status, physical
exposure and access to resources to sociological investigation of how disaster
affect people from social profile and the ability of different groups to resist
harm and recover back in post disaster condition (Hossain 2002). Vulnerability
approach to disaster enables the planners and development experts to understand
the complex process of disaster management and development (McEntire 2001). For exploring
the complicate process of disaster and development, the vulnerability
researchers focuses on the ways in which the limited survival capabilities,
fatalities and lack of social protection of at risk population are examined (Hewitt 1997).The
vulnerability researchers examines the disproportionate impacts of disaster on
various vulnerable groups’ i.e poor people, children, disable, women, old age
and religious. The present research focuses on assessing the vulnerability of
women in flood prone areas of district Multan. Women face multiple problems
during disasters due to cultural limitations and critical barriers including
week physique than men (Blaikie, 1994). The perpetual social pattern of
discrimination and gender inequality causes differentiated impacts of disaster
on men and women (IUCN 2009). A study
conducted by London School of Economics in 2007 reveals that natural disasters
kill more women than men. The study taken sample of 141 countries for
evaluation of gender wise mortality rate over the period of 1981 to 2002
(Neumayer, 2007). The statistics of 1991 Bangladesh cyclone, 1993 Maharashtra
earthquake, 1995 Kobe earthquake as well as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
indicates that the death toll of women was higher than men during these
disasters. For example the Bangladesh cyclone of 1991 claimed the lives of
140000 people. The gender wise statistics further reveals that 90% of the
people killed by the cyclone were women. Similarly, 61% of women deaths were counted
in cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and 55-70% in Banda Ache during 2004 Indian Ocean
Tsunami. Dependency, cultural and social
restrictions, economic status, division of labor, health status, unemployment
and lack of awareness disturb women’s efforts and adaptation capacities to
various types of natural and anthropogenic disasters (Khankeh et al., 2015).

 

PROBLEM STATEMENT

In
the low and medium income countries women are seen as victims of floods (Jayarathne 2014). Interaction of women with the natural and built
environment and factors such as women physical exposure, biological or
physiological gender differences, the socially defined gender roles and low
level of awareness are responsilble for enhancing women’s vulnerability during
and after floods (Islam 2017). Similarly, the low
level of litracy rate affects the intellectual ability of women to judge a
phenomina or information and make dicisions about protective evacuation (Jayarathne 2014).
Beside traditional gender roles, access to resources and information, nutrition
status, health status and patriarchal structure of society further aggravate
gender inequalities and place women are at risk of floods. The present study is
an attempt to identify various social, economic, physical and attitudinal
vulnerabilities of women to floods. Due to these prevailing vulnerabilities the
impact of floods on poor destitute, pregnant, lactating and women handed
household is very high in our society.

 

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Ø  To
ascertain the perception of women in the study area regarding flood Hazard.

Ø  To
explore the socio-economic factors of women’s vulnerability to flood hazard.

Ø  To
study the physical vulnerability and exposure level of women to flood hazard.

Ø  To
assess the role of women in flood management.

 

 

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Ø  How do the local communities perceive the causes and
impacts of flood hazard?

Ø  Do
the traditional role framework, lack of awareness, gender stereotypes and low
social status amplify the socio-economic vulnerability of women?

Ø  Do
the risky location of houses and infrastructure, lack of implementation of
building codes and land use planning policies enhances the exposure of women to
flood?

Ø  Do
the disaster risk reduction plans, strategies, laws and policies ensure gender
equality in vulnerability reduction of women to flood?

 

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The
Pressure and Release (PAR) model, originally developed by Blaikie et al in (1994) has been adopted and
modified in the context of this study. The PAR model provides a basic analysis
of vulnerability in relation to natural hazards (Blaikie, 2014). PAR model
consider disasters as the outcome of two opposing forces i.e, hazards and
vulnerability (Wisner et al., 2004).This idea can provide explanation of causes and conditions and
explore factors that contribute to vulnerability in a society (Vasta, 2004). As per PAR model the root causes leads
to dynamic  pressure which creates unsafe
conditions and ultimately leads to multidimentional vulnerabilities for women
in society. The framework will be utilizd as a guide to ascertain various
causes of women’s vulnerability to flood hazard in distruct Multan.

 

 

 

 

Figure No o1:
Modified Pressure and Release Model of Women’s Vulnerability to Flood Hazard

Source: Adopted from Wisner et al.,(1994), Oxfam, (2012)

METHODOLOGY

Methodology
explains the undertaken measures and procedures to be undertaken to investigate
and examine a research problem. It further provides a rational for using
specific procedure/techniques to select record, process and analyze information
in understanding of the problem, allowing the researchers and readers to
evaluate a study’s overall validity and reliability (Kallet, 2004). For this research a qualitative approach will be
adopted to investigate the problem. District Multan has been purposively
selected as area of the study. Within District Multan, Tehsil Shujabad will be
selected as locale of the study. The
target respondents cover women living in Tehsil Shujabad which are impacted by
floods in the past. Framework analysis method will be used for the analysis of
data. Framework analysis method is one of the commonly used methods for
analysis of qualitative research since 1980’s (Gale
et al., 2013). This method will help in generating a new data
structure   and will summarize the
primary data in a way that can help to answering the research questions. Following
are the details of the methodological framework of this study:

 

 

=

SAMPLING METHOD

A Purposive sampling technique will be used in this
study. “Purposive
sampling is a non-probability sampling method that guides the researchers to
select population as per the objective of the study with selected particular
characteristics” (Pepela, 2015). As per Roscoe (1975) analogy, a total of 30 sample size
suffices for this qualitative study.

 

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES OF DATA COLLECTION

 

In-depth Interviews (IDIs)

In-depth interviews are the commonly
used tool for data collection in a qualitative study (Bloom& Crabtree, 2006). In-depth interviews can provide a
clear set of guidelines for a reliable and comparable qualitative data (Cohen& Crabtree, 2006). The basic aim of
using IDIs is to collect accurate data direct from the vulnerable women.
Keeping in view the literacy level of the area, the respondents will easily
respond to the questions. Ten in-depth interviews will be conducted in each
selected union council. The total number of IDI’s will be 30.

 

Focus Group Discussions (FGD’s)

Focus Group Discussion is
another type of qualitative data collection tool and provides a deeper
understanding of the phenomenon under investigation (Nagle & Williams, 2013).  During an FGD participants can influence each
other ideas and can provide valuable result(Freitas et al. 1998).To cross check
the data collected through IDI’s 3 FGD will be conducted in the selected
vulnerable union councils. Krueger (2002) recommends
that the number of participants in an FGD in academic research must consist of
five to ten respondents.

 

Transect Walk

Transect walks are observatory walks to study the topography, housing
types, indigenous technology,  natural
resources, vegetation, soil, livelihood strategies and problems and
opportunities in an area. Transects are conducted with the help of respondents
in the field. During transect walks an observational checklist will
used to observe the physical vulnerability of the area to floods.

 

 

PLAN OF WORK

 

Research
Activity Chapter-wise

Timeline

Introduction and Literature Review

In the first month of approval

Research Design and Developing Tools for Data
Collection

In the second month of approval

Data Collection

In the third month of approval

Data Analysis, Interpretation and summarizing the
main Findings of the study

In the fourth month of approval

Conclusion & Recommendation and Submission of
1st Draft

In the fifth month of approval

Submission of final draft

In the sixth month of approval