Gender-based experiences and perceptions after the 2010 winter storms in Atlantic Canada

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Abstract

© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This paper conveys the findings of the first phase of a longitudinal study into climate change adaptation in Atlantic Canada. Men and women from 10 coastal communities in three provinces (Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island) were interviewed to better understand how both sexes perceived and reacted to extreme weather events. Their responses were recorded based on their experiences, personal and community levels of preparedness, as well as help received and effects on their lives. Most importantly, the findings denote that more men were personally prepared and more active in the community than women. More men recognized a deficiency in help at the community level, and were critical of government in particular, addressing a lack of financial interventions and support. Women were forthcoming with their emotions, admitting to feeling fear and worry, and their perceptions in terms of impacts and actions were closer to home. The results support what others have shown that in rural and coastal communities the traditional division of labor may influence and lead to a gender bias in terms of actions and gradual adaptation in communities. There is a need to better understand how these sometimes subtle differences may affect decisions that do not always consider women’s roles and experiences in the face of extreme events.

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Vasseur, L., Thornbush, M., & Plante, S. (2015). Gender-based experiences and perceptions after the 2010 winter storms in Atlantic Canada. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 12(10), 12518–12529. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph121012518

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