Displacing Women, Resettling Families: Impact of Landslides on Women’s Land Tenure Rights in Sri Lanka
- 435 Downloads
Landslides occur regularly in the hilly areas of Sri Lanka. This chapter focuses on the proposed voluntary displacement and resettlement process that took place in a landslide-affected hilly town in Sri Lanka. A gender impact assessment of the process reveals two major effects on the lives of women: it deprived them of economic opportunities since they would be resettled far away from the original area which offered them livelihood; and it affected land ownership rights accorded to women by traditional legal systems. Considering that the unit of analysis for resettlement was the household, patriarchal bias in official decision-making tended to confer ownership of the new property on the official head of the household, often a male, even if the de facto owner of the original property was a woman. The coexistence of tradition and modernity in a changing social environment created contradictions among women and men. Trapped between these paradoxes, women faced the threat of increased vulnerabilities and erosion of their traditional rights.
KeywordsLand tenure Women Disaster Social change Landslides
National Building Research organization
- Abeysekera, Sunila, 2005: “The Gendered Nature of Natural Disaster”, in: Options, 36,1.Google Scholar
- Agarwal, Bina, 1998: “Disinherited Peasants, Disadvantaged Workers: a Gender Perspective on Land and Livelihood”, in: Economic and Political Weekly, 33,13: A2–A14.Google Scholar
- Action Aid, 2007: “Violence Against Women in the Post Tsunami Context—People’s Report, Sri Lanka”—A report based on intensive discussions with 3,833 tsunami affected women in six districts in Sri Lanka (Colombo: Action Aid).Google Scholar
- Ambalavanar, V.; Lankanesan, T., 1994: National Disaster Management Plan—Current Status and Trends with Particular Reference to Landslide Management (Colombo: Proceedings of the National Symposium on Landslides) 343–348.Google Scholar
- APWLD, 2006a: “Asian Forum on Women in Disasters: Two Years after Tsunami Women Still Face Violations of Their Rights”, in: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development: Forum News, 19,3 (December 2006); www.apwld.org.
- APWLD, 2006b: “Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Disaster Management”, Chiang Mai: Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development.Google Scholar
- Arambepola, N.M.S.I.; Weerasinghe, K.M., 1998: “Towards achieving the long term objectives of landslide hazard mapping programme”, in: Proceedings of the Workshop on the Role of R & D Institutions in Natural Disaster Management (Colombo): 8-1–8-8.Google Scholar
- Ariyabandu, Madhavi, 1999: Defeating Disasters: Ideas for Action (Colombo: A Duryog Nivaran Publication: Intermediate Technology Development Group).Google Scholar
- Ariyabandu, Madhavi, 2003: “Women: The Risk Managers”, in: Voice of Women—A Sri Lankan Journal for Women’s Liberation, 6,1 (August).Google Scholar
- Ariyabandu, Madhavi; Wickramasinghe, Maithree, 2003: Gender Dimensions of Disaster Management (Colombo: ITDG South Asia Publication).Google Scholar
- Beck, Ulrich, 1992: Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (London: Polity Press).Google Scholar
- Chowdhry, Prem, undated: “Reduction of Violence Against Women: Property Ownership & Economic Independence in Rural Haryana”, UN Women; at: http://www.unwomensouthasia.org/assets/Violence-Property-Rights2.pdf.
- Denney, David, 2005: Risk and Society (London: Sage).Google Scholar
- Eichler, Margrit, 1991: Non-Sexist Research Methods: A Practical Guide (New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
- Enarson, Elaine; Fothergill, Alice; Peek, Lori, 2007: “Gender and Disaster: Foundations and Directions”, in: Havidán, Rodríguez; Quarantelli, Enrico L.; Dynes, Russell R. (Eds.): Handbook of Disaster Research (New York: Springer).Google Scholar
- Fernando, Priyanthi; Fernando, Vijitha, 1997: South Asian Women: Facing Disasters, Securing Life (Colombo: Duryog Nivaran Secretariat).Google Scholar
- Foucault, Michel (ed. by C. Gordon), 1980: Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972–1977 (Brighton: Harvester).Google Scholar
- Garcia, Cecilia Castro, 2005: “Gender Inequality in the Comprehensible Disaster Risk Management—An Introduction”, (Published in Spanish in): Revista de la Cristobal Colon (Veracruz), No 20, Tercera epoca, Ano iii (Translation by Emilia Reyes).Google Scholar
- Giddens, Anthony, 1990: The Consequences of Modernity (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
- Giddens, Anthony, 1999: Runaway World (London: Profile Books).Google Scholar
- Gomez, Shyamala, 2006: “Guidelines for Gender Sensitive Disaster Management”; at: www.apwld.org.
- Government of Sri Lanka, 2005: Sri Lanka: Post Tsunami Recovery and Reconstruction—Joint Report of the Government of Sri Lanka and Development Partners (Colombo: Government of Sri Lanka, December).Google Scholar
- Herath, Subhangi M.K., 2003: “Vulnerability in Trincomalee District”, Unpublished Study Report submitted to Care International, Colombo.Google Scholar
- Herath, Subhangi M.K., 2006: “Mobilising Women for Reconstruction in Sri Lanka (post tsunami)”. Report of the evaluation of Kantha Shakthi Projects in Matara and Tangalle.Google Scholar
- Herath, S.; Lešnik, B., 2008: “Internally displaced persons: Implications for the development of social work in Sri Lanka”, in: Shula Ramon (Ed.): Social work in the context of political conflict (Birmingham: Venture Press) 77–97.Google Scholar
- Human Rights Commission, 2005: Report of the Women’s Division, Disaster Relief Monitoring Unit. Human Rights Commission in Sri Lanka (Colombo: Human Rights Commission, August).Google Scholar
- INFORM, 2006: Tsunami Aftermath: Violations of Women’s Human Rights in Sri Lanka (Colombo: INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre).Google Scholar
- Jiggins, Janice, 1994: Changing the Boundaries: Women Centred Perspectives on Population and the Environment, Population and the Environment (New York: Island Press).Google Scholar
- Kottegoda, Sepali, 2001: Livelihood Options for Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia: A Study of Gender Aspects of Communities Living With Drought and Land Slides in Sri Lanka (Colombo: ITDG).Google Scholar
- Krishnaswami, P.B; Kumar, S.; Dave, M., 2001: Gender Issues for Livelihood Options for Disaster Risk Reduction (Ahmedabad: Disaster Mitigation Institute).Google Scholar
- Lohani, Balkrishna; Acharya, Harish Chandra, 2003: “Impact on flood on gender: A case study”, in: Sahni, Pradeep; Ariyabandu, Madhavi Malalgoda (Eds.): Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia (New Delhi: Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited) 281–288.Google Scholar
- Masood, Mahjabeen; Wahra, Gawher Nayeem, 1997: “Bangladesh: Learning to deal with disasters”, in: Fernando, Priyanthi; Fernando, Vijitha (Eds.): South Asian Women: Facing Disasters, Securing Life (Colombo: A Duryog Nivaran Publication: Intermediate Technology Development group).Google Scholar
- Merchant, Carolyn, 1996: Feminism & Ecology (New York: New York University Press).Google Scholar
- Mies, Maria; Shiva, Vandana, 1993: Ecofeminism (Halifax: Fernwood Publications).Google Scholar
- Nightingale, Andrea, 2006: “The nature of gender: work, gender and environment”, in: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 24,2: 165–185.Google Scholar
- Rees, Susan; Pittaway, Eileen; Bartolomei, Linda, 2005: “Waves of violence—Women in post-tsunami Sri Lanka”, in: The Australian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies, 2005-2; at: http://www.massey.ac.nz/~trauma/issues/2005-2/rees.htm.
- Senanayake, Dhanushi, 2003: “Timely Intervention for Disaster Risk Reduction”. in: Sahni, Pradeep; Ariyabandu, Madhavi Malalgoda (Eds.): Disaster Risk Reduction in South Asia (New Delhi: Prentice-Hall India Private Limited): 250–259.Google Scholar
- Shiva, Vandana, 1988: Staying Alive (London: Zed).Google Scholar
- Sri Lanka Census of Population and Housing, 2011: Department of Census and Statistics Sri Lanka, at: http://www.statistics.gov.lk/PopHouSat/CPH2011/index.php?fileName=pop42&gp=Activities&tpl=3 (5 June 2014).
- Strydom, Piet, 2002: Risk, Environment and Society (Philadelphia: Open University Press).Google Scholar
- Tripp, Aili Mari, 2004: “Women’s Movements, Customary Law, and Land Rights in Africa: The Case of Uganda”, in: African Studies Quarterly, 7, 4: 1–19.Google Scholar
- World Bank, undated: “GDRC Special Focus on Gender and the Environment”, at: http://www.gdrc.org/gender/gender-envi.html.