Impact of Flash Floods on a Matrilineal Society in West Sumatra, Indonesia

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace book series (BRIEFSSECUR, volume 21)


Following a flash flood in 2012 in a matrilineal community in Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia, we examine the impact of the flood on women and men in their position as land owners and land users. Every disaster has a social impact that is larger than its physical impact. Land is a key resource for the livelihood in this community, and hence changes in land ownership have a long-term and deep-rooted impact on specific people who have lost or gained land rights. In matrilineal societies, women inherit land but their brothers are its guardians. Considering the matrilineal culture of the Minangkabau people, we also studied the gender and cultural sensitivity of the government and NGO responses to the disaster. The study used observation, key informant interviews, and secondary data. It showed links between gender, land tenure, and disaster in some cycles of disaster management, especially when damage was assessed and landowners identified. The study also reveals that women’s inclusion in disaster preparedness is critical to make disaster management more gender equitable.


Flash flood Padang Gender Land tenure Matrilineal society 



Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (National Disaster Management Agency)


Government of Indonesia


Indonesian Rupiah


Non-governmental organization


United Nations


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Copyright information

©  Food and Agriculture Organization 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forest Resources ManagementAndalas UniversityPadangIndonesia
  2. 2.Integrated Natural Resources Management Field of Study at Graduate ProgramAndalas UniversityPadangIndonesia

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