Gender, Floods and Mental Health: The Way Forward
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Gender, Floods, Mental health

How to Cite

Ugwu, L. I. ., & Ugwu, D. I. . (2013). Gender, Floods and Mental Health: The Way Forward. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 3(4), 1030–1042. Retrieved from


Flood is the most frequently and devastating natural disaster that kills people in thousands. Its consequences are profound, particularly on people in the less developed countries as in Nigeria. Emerging evidence shows that women suffer disproportionately in all disasters as they are made more vulnerable because of their reduced access to sources of emergency intervention as well as their lack of decision-making power in disaster prevention and preparedness programs. The gender discrimination in climate change response activities is an impediment to the adoption of effective strategy, mitigation programs, and to the empowerment of victims to build their own resilience. Recognizing these differences is a necessary and important component of any prospective attempts to address the gendered health consequences of flood. Because women make more emotional investments in the home than men, it is most likely that women experience more posttraumatic stress disorders associated with flooding experience, and consequently become more devastated emotionally and psychologically. The mental health problems of the victims of flood remain an area that successive governments have paid limited attention to. The paper therefore recommends that the application of the principles of cognitive- behavioural therapy on the victims, irrespective of sex, will remove the ugly memories of the trauma, extinguish the fears associated with the stressful events, especially as it pertains to re-location, re-equip the victims’ capacities such that they can appraise positively the vicissitudes of life challenges, and consequently develop resilience. The author concludes that an integrative approach, which involves experts from diverse fields of human endeavours, is required in pulling out the victims of flood disaster from the implosive anxiety and depression that are associated with flood-provoking trauma.

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