Reflections on the Changing Role of Women in a Post Disaster Environment, Central Sulawesi Indonesia

Harnida Adda, Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes, Pricylia Chintya Dewi Buntuang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This study aims to analyze the changes in women’s socio-economic roles in the wake of the Tsunami and earthquake which hit Palu City in Central Sulawesi in 2018. There were twenty informants in this study, all were women directly affected by the disaster who had previously managed businesses. The study was designed qualitatively by identifying informants with a purposive sampling technique. The results showed that the socio-economic role of women after the disaster experienced a substantive shift. Women that were economically affected by the disaster must struggle to meet their household needs because businesses that were previously jointly managed with their husbands had to be closed either due to seismic damage or that they no longer had customers. Some women lost their husbands and this was a disincentive to opening their businesses again; while to restart a new business, they were constrained by a lack of access to venture capital despite the fact that some of them now sell cakes and food. This situation certainly has an impact on family income so that socially, the women in this study no longer have the time and opportunity to socialize because their main focus is on meeting the basic needs of the family. Currently, many women must assume the role of head of the family. They have difficulty in getting a new job because they do not have the contacts or network needed to get a decent job. Some women, initiated income generating activities that enabled them to work mostly from home. Of this group some managed independently, and others collaborated with fellow residents of temporary settlements. This initiative strengthened the ties among women as head of the family and revealed a clear determination to fulfil the socio-economic roles previously undertaken by their husbands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Polarisation to Multispecies Relationships
Subtitle of host publicationRe-Generation of the Commons in the Era of Mass Extinctions
EditorsJanet McIntyre-Mills, Yvonne Corcoran-Nantes
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-33-6884-2
ISBN (Print)978-981-33-6883-5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameContemporary Systems Thinking


  • Women
  • Economy
  • Social
  • Employment
  • Natural disaster
  • Business


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