Neumayer and Plümper argue that natural disasters affect certain people more than others; they assert that gender affects mortality rates—girls and women are affected more heavily by natural disasters than are boys and men. It is important to note that these disparities in life expectancy are not the result of biological differences between men and women, rather, they are the result of systemic inequalities that greatly disadvantage women. Such disparities, according to Neumayer and Plümper, are a result of “unequal access to opportunities and unequal exposures to risks”, based on gender (2007).
Technological advances in geography have greatly improved the ability of scientists to study these specific areas of research—“in linking spatial patterns of disaster risk to human-generated vulnerability, geography is uniquely positioned to study the impact of natural disasters on socioeconomic systems and groups of people” (Neumayer and Plümper 2007). The primary finding of these advances has been that the life expectancy of women is lowered more drastically by natural disasters and their impacts than it is for men; with this information efforts can be taken to minimize these socioeconomic disparities based on gender. In the mean time,"the special medical, economic, and security needs of women in the aftermath of disasters" must be acknowledged (Neumayer and Plümper 2007).
Neumayer, E., & Plümper, T. (2007). The Gendered Nature of Natural Disasters: The Impact of Catastrophic Events on the Gender Gap in Life Expectancy, 1981–2002. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97(3), 551-566.