Background and ob jective:
Women are one of the most vulnerable groups in disasters. The aim of this study was to identify the influential factors of the vulnerability of women and proposed strategies for risk reduction the vulnerability of women's health in disasters.
Materials and methods:
This study conducted in 2007 and consisted of two methodologies. The first was a narrative review and the second was a qualitative study (focus group discussion) to determine the views and opinions of decision makers with respect to influential factors and strategies for improving approaches of women's vulnerability in disasters.
The main findings of this study were lack of presence of women especially in the responsible government agencies, lack of needs assessment regarding women in disaster situation, lack of legal support of women, lack of credit allocation to women in disaster management, absence or lack of female directors and experts in domain of disaster management, dispatch often men relief workers to affected areas without women's in the team, lack of specialized training centers for women's relief workers.
The main strategies that could reduce the vulnerability of women in disasters are strengthening public education, enable women through communication networks, reinforce practical skills for women facing disaster, creating and reinforcing women's NGOs for the purpose of forming its humanitarian activities in crisis prevention, legislation to support of women, to conduct appropriate researches and presenting the results to relevant authorities to take advantage of the plan to deal with disaster (e.g. to determine the needs of women survivors of the disaster), allocation of quotas to women for employment in the relevant organizations, defined some positions responsible for women in the category headquarter and dispatched teams to undergo disaster regions, and train dispatched teams to improved their skills in all areas related to women's health especially in reproductive health in disaster and crisis situations.