Collection Development on Women’s Earthquake Disaster Experiences and Support Activities in Japan

AOKI, Reiko (2018) Collection Development on Women’s Earthquake Disaster Experiences and Support Activities in Japan. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session 207 - Women, Information and Libraries SIG and LGBTQ Users SIG.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Collection Development on Women’s Earthquake Disaster Experiences and Support Activities in Japan

Japan is known as a country prone to natural disasters. Many people were impacted by the tsunami and nuclear power plant accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011. Under the harsh conditions of evacuation shelters, various forms of discrimination experienced by women in daily life surfaced, exposing societal distortions such as gendered division of labor and sexual violence/harassment. Despite such circumstances, women’s voices were seldom heard. Women relief workers were keenly aware of the need for policies to support vulnerable groups and women’s leadership. Disaster recovery and reduction measures must be revised to fully reflect the experiences of women. To this end, efforts must be made to collect records of women’s experiences and to pass these on to subsequent generations. Up to now, the experiences and activities of women have remained hidden. Records of disasters develop slowly over long periods of time. In some cases, it is only decades after a painful experience that a woman can start talking about it. In this presentation, I examine past collection of records on disasters and women and discuss archival systems to facilitate use of such records. Specifically, I discuss: 1. Classification of records related to disaster and gender, evacuation center management that takes into consideration the needs of vulnerable groups, use of surveys and consultations to identify the needs of women in disaster-affected areas, policy recommendations for disaster reduction and recovery, and methods for creating collections. 2. Case studies of earthquake disaster archives, examples of survivors in different disaster-affected areas sharing their experiences, and examples of support activities by women’s groups aimed at recording women’s experiences. 3. Use of the National Women’s Education Center (NWEC) Archive of Women’s Disaster Recovery Support and dissemination in coordination with the National Diet Library and a system for the sharing of information.

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