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Gender relevance in orienting research and action activity
 
Safety, security, crisis management are typically and for historical reasons managed by men.
This leads the attention mostly on organizational and technical factors.
Slowly is emerged, both in the literature and in the field experience, that human resources - rescuers and victims - are at the heart of the functioning and efficiency before, during and after emergencies.
Therefore, until fairly recently, studies for agencies and civil protection corps began to introduce and evaluate this side of the crisis management and emergencies. A step ahead analyzing men and human behavior and reactions, was the perspective introduced successfully in the Pre emergencies project. (1) (2)
A collection of case studies (3) was developed to gain an in-depth understanding of practices that lead to positive outcomes in an emergency and to test their applicability in other contexts. The attention was focused on human behavior, organizational, coordinative, chain-of-command elements, which then were evaluated in relation to a scale of efficiently response type.
We clearly demonstrate that a gender approach in research brings, a holistic and more appropriate way of knowledge.
During RED project (4) we are focusing the attention on human behavior in emergencies, considering the high price in psychological burden sense rescuers pay each time they live an intervention. This time we start our considerations about gender from some studies that indicate that psychological effects are not only stronger among females, but more lasting as well.
We are working for gathering new elements through a widespread questionnaire that have to assess individual emergency workers' well-being with reference to the quality of their lives in general, but mostly, to their working lives.
Both the projects are an efficacy example where the project engineering and coordination is by a woman and the direction and group of search consequently includes women specialists (engineer, psychologists, etc...).

Edited by Monica Eula Sinergie S.r.l. Torino (I)
eula@sinergie.net tel. +39 0115620299 fax +39 0115620285 skype: monica.eula

   

NOTES

(1) Pre emergencies project: a research aims at establishing best practices for the coordination in case of cross border or international emergencies European Commission - DG ENV (2005-2007) www.sinergie.net
(2) Mainstreaming in Piemonte (in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Labour and the most important Italian unionís representatives): a research and tool creation for evaluate impact of actions for gender mainstreaming in the workplaces (2001-2003)
(3) Edited by Croce Rossa Italiana (2008). Preparazione, management, comunicazione ed esperienze in emergenza. Preparedness, management, communication and lesson learnt in emergencies, Ananke, Torino
(4) RED project: to Reinforce Rescuers' Resilience by Empowering a well-being Dimension European Commission - DG ENV (2006-2008) www.sinergie.net



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