ABOUT THIS PUBLICATION
The women whose works are presented in this publication are teachers, trainers, resource-persons and leaders—disaster recovery and development eﬀorts should not reduce them to mere victims. disaster and development professionals, researchers, scholars and organizations partnering with grassroots women can use these case studies as examples, for ideas or for advocacy eﬀorts.
This publication—firmly grounded in the research and practices of its contributors— is a practical source document of ideas for readers studying and working on resilience issues. In presenting a set of grassroots women’s development innovations that build community resilience (and a framework in which to view these innova-tions), it celebrates women’s inventiveness as they struggle to support and feed their families, find and maintain livelihoods, and make their voices heard as they survive and cope with disasters.
The women’s groups and collectives described in this publication are grassroots women’s groups. ‘Grassroots women’ are women who live and work in poor and low-income communities, who are economically, socially and politically marginalized and whose survival and everyday lives are directly affected by natural hazards and climate change.
Part I presents a framework through which to view grassroots women’s resilience-building activities, illustrating the multiple entry points through which grassroots women approach resilience-building.
Part II presents select case studies that demonstrate the breadth and reach of resilience-building strategies led by grassroots women’s organizations. These examples, viewed through a sustainable livelihoods lens, represent a diverse range of themes and groups at different stages of their evolution. Some organizations are mature, with widespread robust networks of women’s groups that span multiple cities or provinces; other groups are smaller, nascent and fragile. A commonality among all the groups is that they are organized to collectively secure a range of resources and relationships that cushion their communities from the shocks and stresses of disaster.