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18 April 2023 - 18 April 2023

11:00AM - 12:00PM

Calman Learning Centre, Room 406, Lower Mountjoy, Durham University

  • free

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Nahid Rezwana and Rachel Pain discuss their latest book, which investigates the widespread and persistent relationship between disasters and gender-based violence.

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Gender-Based Violence and Layered Disasters: Place, Culture and Survival Book discussion with authors, Nahid Rezwana and Rachel Pain

The evidence is now overwhelming that disasters and gender-based violence are closely connected, not just in moments of crisis but in the years that follow as the social, economic and environmental impacts of disasters play out. This book addresses two key gaps in research. First, it examines what causes the relationship between disasters and gender-based violence to be so widespread and so enduring. Second, it highlights victim-survivors’ own accounts of gender-based violence and disasters. It does so by presenting findings from original research on cyclones and flooding in Bangladesh and the UK and a review of global evidence on the Covid-19 pandemic.

They conceptualise the coincidence of gender-based violence, disasters and other aggravating factors in particular places as ‘layered disasters.’ Taking an intersectional approach that emphasises the connections between culture, place, patriarchy, racism, poverty, settler-colonialism, environmental degradation and climate change, we show the significance of gender-based violence in creating vulnerability to future disasters. Forefronting victim-survivors’ experiences and understandings, the book explores the important role of trauma, and how those affected go about the process of survival and recovery. Understanding disasters as layered casts light on why tackling gender-based violence must be a key priority in disaster planning, management and recovery.


Rachel Pain is Professor of Human Geography at Newcastle University in the UK. Her research focuses on spaces of violence, trauma and resistance, with gender-based violence a particular interest from intimate to international scales. Her work is informed by feminist theory and participatory action research, and she collaborates with public and voluntary sector organisations and survivor groups.

Nahid Rezwana is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Her fields of interest are hazards and disaster management, gender, social inequalities, health and climate change. Her scholarship explores how and why disasters have uneven impacts on women and how these conditions could be improved with gender-sensitive disaster management.

Please register here for online participation.  Registration is not required to attend in person.  For any information please communicate with Hanna Ruszczyk at