Women, Natural Disasters and Closing the Gender Gap: A Podcast with ActionAid’s Melissa Bungcaras


This month, ActionAid’s very own Melissa Bungcaras appears on the podcast “Conversations in Development” to delve into issues surrounding foreign aid and social change.

In this episode, Melissa appears alongside Dr Peter Mason, the podcast’s host and CEO of international development agency Cufa. Together they discuss climate change, natural disasters and the effect of these on women. Melissa is ActionAid Australia’s Policy and Research Manager. She has experience managing a portfolio of programs across the Asia‐Pacific focused on women’s resilience to climate change and disasters, and drives policy advocacy on climate justice and women’s leadership in emergencies. Melissa has over 10 years’ experience in international development and environmental management, primarily in the Asia Pacific region.

The episode examines how gender inequality becomes lethal in natural disasters, during which women die in far greater numbers than men. Patriarchal systems often leave women responsible for the care of children and elderly people during a disaster, and exclude women from accessing information that could save their lives. Melissa describes how and why women should take a leading role in disaster preparedness planning and how aid agencies and governments both have a role to play in reducing the gender gap.

Melisa Bungcaras, ActionAid Australia

Melisa Bungcaras, ActionAid Australia

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