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Tsunami toll among women 3 times higher than men
April 4, 2005 6:35 AM   Subscribe

The boxing day tsunami in Asia is said to have killed 3 times (3/4 of the way down the page) more women than men.
"Many of the losses are being tied to gender roles and styles--such as women's long hair, confining saris, extreme sense of modesty and selfless commitment to husbands and children--that hindered their ability to escape."
There have been reports of abuse (cache) and forced marriages in Refugee Camps as a consequence. Oxfam briefing note (.pdf) and summary.
via (previous tsunami threads)
posted by peacay (14 comments total)

 
Aid agency Oxfam International has actually said female casualties were four times that of men due to factors mentioned above.


On the positive side:

Quake erodes religious barriers
The refugees, as they call themselves, brought blankets, throw rugs and pajamas, whatever they could salvage from their homes.

Up and down this mountain road, homes are owned by Christians who have taken in dozens of people at a time, mostly Muslims. All told, 600 have taken refuge in the homes and in makeshift shelters made of tarp and sticks along the road.

Although Muslims have married Christians in Lahewa, and a few Muslims have sent their children to the local Roman Catholic school, rarely have the two groups mixed socially.

"Before, when I had a party and invited my Muslim neighbors, they would say no, politely, to me," explained Samaria, 27. "But this," she said, nodding at the crowd on her porch, "is a party to which I can invite everybody, and they will come.

"For sure, this tragedy has brought us together. We don't think 'You Muslim, and me Christian.' "
posted by dhoyt at 7:36 AM on April 4, 2005


Does a weather service name tsunamis like ours does for hurricanes? Because I'm suggesting "Ed Gein" for that one.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2005


Hmm, ok I get the restrictive sari thing, and recognize the subsequent oppression of the living, but I think I'm detecting a little reverse sexism here regarding those who died.

If the numbers were reversed and men, at least in part through selfless devotion, had died in greater numbers, they would be 'heros'.

But, because it's women, they are instead 'victims'?

Isn't this taking something away from them?
posted by scheptech at 8:56 AM on April 4, 2005


Why that's not reverse sexism, scheptech, it's just sexism! (I hate phrases like "reverse sexism" as they seem to imply there is a right way and a wrong way to be sexist but regardless, in this case you're referring to sexism toward women, or good old-fashioned "forward" sexism).

I think you're absolutely right though, particularly about those women who lost their lives trying to save children or other loved ones.
posted by Songdog at 10:10 AM on April 4, 2005


When is Boxing Day?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:59 AM on April 4, 2005


The day after Christmas (Dec 26) is considered Boxing Day, Steve. Not sure where you're from, but it's a North American term meaning "the day when everyone returns their presents to the store".
posted by orange swan at 11:13 AM on April 4, 2005


Boxing Day
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 12:55 PM on April 4, 2005


scheptech
Hmm, ok I get the restrictive sari thing, and recognize the subsequent oppression of the living, but I think I'm detecting a little reverse sexism here regarding those who died.

If the numbers were reversed and men, at least in part through selfless devotion, had died in greater numbers, they would be a “hero.”

But, because it's women, they are instead 'victims'?.


Wow, you must hate men. Really, what is your basis here?

A female or male rescuing a drowning person will be called a hero because the title is bestowed by the witnessing victim or by stander.
If no witness, how would you know the person died in a hero act?

I will agree people do tell lies about a woman who has done a great deed, yet most applaud her.

because it's women,
PS, you may dislike females also as you referred to women heroes as "it".
posted by thomcatspike at 4:31 PM on April 4, 2005


heroic act?
posted by thomcatspike at 4:32 PM on April 4, 2005


Ok reviewing..., nope, I can't see how it's possible to perceive hatred of men or dislike of women in there.

The post is categorizing all the women as mere victims. One gets a picture of people without minds of their own, we are presented with a list of reasons such as wearing non-tsunami-friendly clothing and hairstyles and then, oh by the way: some of them apparently died acting out of love for and devotion to their families. Well, to me this latter 'reason' seems qualitatively different from the rest. It's not even particularly logical to say someones choosing to die in place of another 'hindered their ability to escape'.

In the Titanic disaster a hundred years ago some of the men chose to die so their wives or children or even other mens' families could live. We correctly consider them to have acted out of intelligence and free will making the hardest possible decisions in dire circumstances. We don't think of them as victims but rather as honorable people deserving our respect.

Why should we not afford the same respect to those women who died in the tsunami protecting their loved ones because they themselves thought it was the right thing to do? I'd like to know more about them as individuals. I think we'd find out there was a lot more to them and how they chose to live and, in some cases die, than tight fitting saris.
posted by scheptech at 7:47 PM on April 4, 2005


but it's a North American term meaning

far as I know, it's a british term...
posted by mdn at 8:22 PM on April 4, 2005


British and Canadian.
posted by orange swan at 5:16 AM on April 5, 2005


Awesome point, scheptech.
posted by agregoli at 9:30 AM on April 5, 2005


Why should we not afford the same respect to those women who died in the tsunami protecting their loved ones because they themselves thought it was the right thing to do?

I will agree people do tell lies about a woman who has done a great deed, yet most applaud her.(my earlier comment)
I think you did, and good for you catching it. Unfortunately the reader not following closely may have not because they don't care in the end.
Honestly, you think the women that gave their lives would want the heroic title?
posted by thomcatspike at 1:18 PM on April 7, 2005


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