CARE Rapid Gender Analysis Papua New Guinea – Highlands earthquake
Publication Date: 22/03/2018
Natural disasters, such as the earthquake that hit Papua New Guinea on the 26th of February are discriminatory events
affecting women, men, girls and boys differently. Drawing on precrisis information, the rapid analysis finds that women and girls are likely to be placed at particular risk due to their increased workload and caring responsibilities1. The destruction of the food gardens deprives women of family food but also of their main source of livelihood. Girls and women are also likely to face secondary gendered risks that result from the disaster, including increased domestic violence, sexual violence, forced marriage and accusations of sorcery. Structural gender inequalities and additional challenges in accessing health services are likely to further impair their sexual and reproductive health at a time when
they may be exposed to increased risks of unwanted pregnancies, STIs and HIV Aids. Inequalities at home may also
expose them to particular risks of food insecurity, eating least and last when food becomes scarce. Female-headed
households and widows require particular attention: With less bargaining power, scarce financial resources to purchase
essential goods and deprived of the required skills to rebuild their shelters, they are at increased risk of exploitation. The population displacement resulting from the earthquake is likely to generate tribal fights, bearing direct consequences on men’s security and indirect consequences for the rest of the community.