Natural disasters are gendered, with women facing aid discrepancies at every step of the recovery process. Particularly in areas that are already impoverished, there are simply fewer opportunities to rebuild after a disaster. If women are already largely shut out of the more lucrative jobs, this continues the cycle of poverty. Women are often the ones overburdened with domestic responsibilities and largely responsible for caring for children and the elderly, which is also exacerbated by catastrophe. Often overlooked are reports of sexual violence following a disaster, but much like rape and sexual torture are weapons of war, they are also employed in the aftermath of disasters, connected with looting and other violent crime that rises during such unrest.
The leaders of the [women's suffrage] movement trembled on seeing a tall, gaunt black woman in a gray dress and white turban, surmounted with an uncouth sunbonnet, march deliberately into the church, walk with the air of a queen up the aisle, and take her seat upon the pulpit steps. A buzz of disapprobation was heard all over the house, and there fell on the listening ear, 'An abolition affair!" "Woman's rights and niggers!""I told you so!" "Go it, darkey!" . . Again and again, timorous and trembling ones came to me and said, with earnestness, "Don't let her speak, Mrs. Gage, it will ruin us. Every newspaper in the land will have our cause mixed up with abolition and niggers, and we shall be utterly denounced." My only answer was, "We shall see when the time comes."
--First-wave feminist Frances Gage, reflecting on the occasion of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?" speech