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Making Disaster Risk Reduction Gender-Sensitive: Policy and Guidelines

This publication is the result of extensive consultations and a response to the call for clear policy and practical guidance for mainstreaming gender perspectives into disaster risk reduction. It offers much-needed policy and practical guidelines for national and local governments to further implement the Hyogo Framework for Action. 

Included in this publication is a policy guideline on gender mainstreaming, and practical guidelines on how to institutionalize gender-sensitive risk assessments, implement gender-sensitive early warning systems, and use gender-sensitive indicators to monitor gender mainstreaming progress. Also included is a summary of the limited global progress in this task so far, and a list of further readings. Full report in PDF format (3.13MB); Number of pages: 152p



Key words: guidelines, policy, Hyogo Framework for Action, HFA, early warning, risk assessment, indicators, UNISDR

Gender Notes: Men and masculinities

Sex and gender shape men’s lives before, during and after disasters. While gender relations typically empower men as decision makers with more control than women over key resources, gender identities and gender norms can also increase their vulnerability. Gender shapes men’s interactions with men as well as women during crises, and differently in different contexts.

Key words: men, masculinity, boys, gender norms, gender-based analysis

Gender Notes: Abilities and disabilities

Women and girls who live with disabilities also too often live with poverty and social exclusion, compounded by a “gender neutral” approach to disability in disasters that renders them invisible. The care work of women with and without disabilities is also minimized and little is known about the factors that produce the specific disabilities of girls and women. Mobilizing the capacities, insights and life experience of women and men who live with disabilities builds stronger, more resilient families, workplaces and communities.

Key words: disability, women, girls, social exlusion, gender neutral, resilience

Natural Disasters, Climate Change, Uproot Women of Color

By Jacqui Patterson

In the U.S., the women affected come in a wide swath -- every color, every ethnicity, every part of the country. In Michigan, a Latina is suffering from a rare form of cancer because of exposure to toxins from a coal burning plant. In Louisiana, an African American woman is being uprooted from the only home she knows because of the shrinking shoreline, while an Inuit woman in Alaska is being forced to move herself and her family to the mainland from her home of 20 years, also due to disappearing lands.

Key words: climate change, livelihood, displacement, ethnicity, race

Planning and Policy Frameworks

Honolulu workshop on gender equality and disaster risk reduction: proceedings

Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop, Honolulu HI, August 2004. Proceedings available on-line through the Gender and Disaster Network:
  • Participant Commentaries with a regional perspective on gender and disaster, country-specific and regional presentations and posters.
  • Conference presentations
  • Supplementary materials contributed by participants including papers, reports and electronic posters
  • Small group reports
  • Honolulu Call to Action, outcome of the 2004 Workshop on Gender Equality and Disaster Risk Reduction: In addition to background resource papers and conference presentation, see the Call to Action in the Proceedings, available on-line through GDN.

Key words: All hazard, conference report, policy, practice, emergency management,

OCHA's Policy on Gender Equality

Policy statement from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs with attention to gender-fair approaches to humanitarian response, information management and analysis, evaluation, and advocacy. Frames the organizational initiative towards gender-aware and gender-fair policy development, program planning and implementation including the OCHA Gender Equality Tool Kit and related materials. Available through OCHA:

Key words: IGO, policy, gender analysis, humanitarian response, gender equality, toolkit

Gender Equality Tool Kit, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

The Tool Kit provides much needed guidance on the step-by-step process of integrating gender perspective into humanitarian assistance. Each “tool” can be used separately to advantage in trainings. The Tool Kit is a comprehensive stand-alone document on gender mainstreaming but also a very practical tool for gendering disaster risk management.

The areas covered include:

General tools for all OCHA staff

  1. Definitions related to gender equality
  2. International mandates related to gender equality
  3. Using a gender perspective improves humanitarian assistance
  4. Frequently asked questions on gender mainstreaming in humanitarian assistance

Tools for humanitarian response and coordination

  1. Responsibilities of gender mainstreaming in the Humanitarian Coordinator’s terms of reference
  2. Responsibilities and potential initiatives for OCHA field offices relating to gender mainstreaming
  3. Terms of reference for field/branch gender focal points

Tools for information management and analysis

  1. Engendering a situation report
  2. Checklist for strengthening gender mainstreaming in the CAP
  3. Sources and types of documents on gender issues to be included in the Humanitarian Information Centres

Key words: IGO, policy, practice guide, cross hazard, training, vulnerability assessment, toolkit, humanitarian assistance, gender equality, gender mainstreaming, disaster risk management

Mainstreaming Gender in the Humanitarian Response to Emergencies

1999. Follow up document to the Beijing Conference of 1995 and 1998 meetings of ECOSOC about humanitarian relief. Lays the framework for subsequent initiatives and publications in this area by the IASC Working group on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance.

This paper provides a summary overview of the differential impact of emergencies and crisis situations on women and girls, men and boys.

Key words: response, gender analysis, practice, policy, humanitarian assistance, boys, women, girls, men

Recommendations for Contraceptive Care in Emergencies

2 pp. Pan American Health Organization. Contact: Fernando Amado (

Available through PAHO:

Key words: IGO, health, sexuality, response, practice

Recommendations for the Prevention and Care of Cases of Domestic Violence and Violence in Temporary Shelters or Refuges During Emergencies

Pan American Health Organization, 2 pp. Available through PAHO: or contact Fernando Amado (

Key words: IGO, health, gender-based violence, relief, practice

The Gender Dimension in Climate Change and Risk Management

UNDP Mexico.

This conference report analyzes gender relations in the context of risk management, both issues understood as development problems. It offers useful concepts and methodologies to promote risk management with gender equity in policies, programs and projects planning, promoted by Federal and State Governments and by UNDP Mexico.

Key words: Mexico, IGO, gender analysis, vulnerability assessment, practice

Methodological Approach to Gender Analysis in Natural Disaster Assessment: A Guide for the Caribbean

F. Deare, 2004. 40 pp. Publication for the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Manual 31) to help incorporate gender analysis in post-disaster assessments and response planning with a number of excellent gender analysis tools and methodologies. The author presents the basic conceptual framework for gender analysis and provides assessment guides for assessing gender-based vulnerabilities and impacts, as well as post-disaster reconstruction. Suitable for use in any region, the publication is aimed at improving damage assessment methodology in order to promote natural disaster mitigation and risk reduction awareness and preparedness in the Caribbean and Latin America. Available through ECLAC:

Key words: Caribbean, gender analysis, research, mitigation, disaster risk reduction,

Sharing Information For Tsunami Recovery In South Asia


World Disasters Report, 2005. 4 pp. Available at:

The chapter discusses the issues related to the need based aid and recovery, and the key role information sharing can play in ensuring the same. The influx of goods, money and NGO led agencies compete for space, and conceal rather than sharing information. Unprecedented media coverage provoked a rush to respond to the tsunami disaster, and many agencies overlooked the longer term risks of inappropriate rehabilitation. In Tamil Nadu, India, information gathering on the fishery sector was biased towards men, who undervalued women’s economic contribution to fishing. Omitting women’s needs had serious implications, particularly for widows who risked sinking into debt. In Sri Lanka, more women died than men. For most women learning swimming was culturally taboo. They spent critical minutes gathering their children before fleeing, and their traditional clothes made running or swimming near impossible. Immediate relief operations were largely ‘gender blind’, according to women’s groups. Only a few organisations provided women’s sanitary needs, underwear or appropriate clothing. Pregnant and lactating mothers were insufficiently cared for. Women’s groups in Sri Lanka promoted the rights of affected women to participate in decision making. The chapter also highlights the media reporting which focussed women on victim stories.

Key words: Sri Lanka, India, information, tsunami, local needs, widows, assessment, women, rights

Cementing a Future: Women's Leadership on a Reconstruction Program

13 pp. 1999. Prema Gopalan. Paper contributed to: GROOTS International Compendium, Supported by UNDP., Swayam Shikshan Prayog, Mumbai, India,

This paper is based on the rebuilding experience of the 1993 earthquake in Lathur, India. The Swayam Shikshan Prayog mobilised community participation with local women organisations in 300 villages across two districts through a large scale information, dialogue and a mentoring campaign that empowered local people to own and lead the process of rebuilding their homes and communities. The paper offers a discussion how communities are organised to deal with crisis, rehabilitation and external aid determination if they will function as ‘victims’/ ‘beneficiaries’/or ‘directors of change and the efficiency of resource use. The paper concludes that a ‘people centred approach’ to disaster can strengthen local residents as informed participants and decision makers, support women’s visibility and social effectiveness, and move them from margin to mainstream.

Key words: India, earthquake, recovery, mobilisation, women's groups, community participation, empowerment

Mainstreaming gender in unstable environments

UNICEF, 1999.  15 pp. Follow up document to the Beiing Conference of 1995 and 1998 meetings of ECOSOC about humanitarian relief. Lays the framework for subsequent initiatives and publications in this area by the IASC Working group on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance.  Indicators for assessing and monitoring gender sensitive programming across sectors are  provided. The approach is informed by a strong human rights perspective relating planning and programming to existing legal frameworks such as CEDAW.  This policy guide is described in more depth on-line in the IASC GHAR Kit.

Key words: IGO, humanitarian assistance, practice, policy, gender, human rights, humanitarian crisis

Sexual and gender-based violence against refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons : guidelines for prevention and response

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),2003. 158 pp. Comprehensive report focused on prevention as well as effective and meaningful response to women and children at risk of sexual violence. The report moves easily from analytic discussion of gender-based violence to specific and practical action recommendations including monitoring and evaluation. It is notable for close analysis of safety concerns for displaced children. The specific and wide-ranging recommendations should be applied in contexts of post-disaster displacement and relocation. Available through CRID:

Supercyclone: Psychological Care for Community Level Helpers - Information Manual 2

Dr. K V K Kumar, Dr. C R Chandrashekar, Dr P Chowdry, Dr R Parthasarathy, Sr S Girimaji Dr. K Sekar and Dr R S Murthy. 2000. 32pp.
Published by Books for Change, a Unit of ActionAid Karnataka Projects, 28 Castle Street, Banglalore 560 025.

This manual begins by stating that for too long, the psychological consequences of disasters have been neglected…” The Orrisa disaster like all disasters, poses the enormous challenge of rebuilding the people, reconstruction not only of shelters and livelihood, but of the human spirit.” The manual is part of an ongoing initiative of ActionAid India, NIMHANS Bangalore and OXFAM India to organise mental health care. Designed to be user friendly, the manual is the collaborative effort of professionals, voluntary organisations and people (survivors and concerned). It is targeted at community level helpers working in disaster situations and is practical in orientation. The pages talk through the principles of emotional support, types of trauma people experience, emotional responses, and understanding responses at different levels. It provides practical guidelines on emotional support and psychological intervention. Although the manual does not explicitly discuss gendered differences, the manual is sensitive at the community and individual level providing tools and insights to designed to ensure that individual’s often neglected psychological needs are being addressed.

Key words: South Asia, Orissa, cyclone, disaster, psychological impact, practical guidelines

A Little Gender Handbook for Emergencies (Or Just Plain Common Sense)

Oxfam UK, Humanitarian Department, 2004. Available at: 

One of many gender-sensitive initiatives from Oxfam, this guide provides a succinct and user-friendly overview. Included are discussion and examples of what using a gender approach means in practice, gender analysis practices in field assessments, participatory methodologies and women, how and when to integrate gender concerns in planning, gender-sensitive program planning, monitoring and evaluation. Of special interest is a protocol for assessing the gender dimensions of proposed projects with respect to goals, planning, and evaluation.
See also Eade, Dianne and Suzanne Williams (eds.). 1995. The Oxfam Handbook of Development and Relief, Vol 1-3. Oxford: Oxfam, special issues relating to gender in emergencies published by the Oxfam journal Gender and Development, and gender and disaster reporting in the newsletter Links.


Key words: all hazard, INGO, relief agency, practice guide, gender analysis, multi-hazard

Gender Equality and Humanitarian Assistance: A Guide to the Issues

Canadian International Development Agency, 2004. 29 pp. Produced by the Canadian International Development Agency, International Humanitarian Assistance Division, Multilateral Programs Branch (Beth Woroniuk, consultant). Available through CIDA: (

The Guide is an excellent state-of-the-art summary of the need for gender-sensitive programming and concrete steps toward that goal. The discussion focuses on capacities as well as vulnerabilities of men as well as women with sections on what gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance means, myths and misunderstandings around it, concrete assessment questions to be asked across sectors and in program development, and references to related work. The Canadian guide can readily be adapted or revised for use across regions.

Key words: Canada, humanitarian assistance, gender analysis, practice guide, policy, gender sensitive programming, men, women, vulnerability, capacity

Converting the Tragedy of Mitch into an Opportunity for the Sustainable Human Development of Nicaragua: Proposal for the Reconstruction and Transformation of Nicaragua

The Civil Coordinator for Emergency and Reconstruction (CCER), 1999. 147 pp. (summary document also available).

This document presents an ‘alternative’ proposal for reconstruction in Nicaragua post-Hurricane Mitch. The document is the result of a consultative process that culminated in the first national meeting of Civil Society. The proposal begins by considering the characteristics of the country prior to the Hurricane, highlighting how conditions such as unsustainable patterns of soil use, high unemployment and severe gender inequalities, led to high levels of social and environmental vulnerability and how in turn this vulnerability influenced the impact of Mitch. The document then goes on to promote a civil society vision of reconstruction calling for a transformation in the approach to development to one that promotes the transformation of unequal power relations at all levels as indispensable for the overcoming social and economic vulnerability and for the sustainable management of natural resources. The document presents proposals for people-centred reconstruction, including proposals related to health, human capital and housing and around gender, young people and the environment, among others.

The document is useful for all those interested in seeing how theory translates into practice and an example of a people-centred, gender aware strategy for reconstruction.

The proposal for reconstruction is available in Spanish from:

 Notes: Civil Society coordinators in other countries of the region also produced proposals for reconstruction. These documents are collected together on a CD-Rom the details of which are available from:

The visions for reconstruction reflected in the different country proposals were brought together in the Central American proposal for reconstruction:
Propuesta de Reconstrucción y transformación de Centroamérica: declaración de las Coordinadoras Nacional y las Redes Regionales, producto del Encuentro Regional de la Sociedad Civil por la reconstrucción y el desarrollo, Espacio INTERFOROS, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 21-22 de abril, 1999.

Key words: reconstruction, civil society, power relations, vulnerability, Nicaragua, empowerment, hurricane, hurricane Mitch, vulnerability, environment, youth, sustainable development

Citizenry-Based and Development-Oriented Disaster Response: Experiences and Practices in Disaster Management of the Citizens Disaster Response Network in the Philippines

Annelies Heijmans and Lorna P. Victoria, Center for Disaster Preparedness, Quezon City, 2001. Center for Disaster Preparedness, Quezon City.

The book outlines a process for community-based risk management planning in the Philippines and provides experiences and best-practices for addressing vulnerabilities to disasters. The book was developed to foster exchanges and linkages among practitioners, communities, and organizations involved in disaster management at the local and community levels. Within the community-based framework, the importance of gender is highlighted. The book contains a series of annexes with checklists and tools, including an overview of disasters common in the Philippines, a glossary of citizenry-based and development oriented disaster response terms, tools for participatory data gathering, a damage, needs, and capacities analysis tool, and a list of categories and factors for capacities and vulnerability analysis.

Key words: development, vulnerability, vulnerability assessment, emergency response, capacity building, all hazard, community planning, Philippines, community participation, Asia

Towards gender mainstreaming in environmental policies

Available through UNEP Environmental Policies:

The report explores the differing roles, responsibilities, positions and perspectives that women and men have in relation to natural resource use and management. Emphasis falls on biological diversity, dry land systems and water resources. It focuses on the provision of a strategic model for gender mainstreaming in context with the environment and sustainable development. In the case of gender mainstreaming concerning environmental policies it is important to understand the issues such as validation of women’s contributions to sustainable development, assurance of women’s rights to benefit from environmental goods and services and women empowerment. The reports looks at seven basic proposals to help gender mainstreaming move forward namely: 1) understanding the issues; 2) institutional; 3) women’s rights and benefits; 4) participation; 5) technical and financial support 6) empowerment and 7) the macocontext. The aim of the seven proposals is to map out aspects of a strategy to install a gender perspective in environmental and sustainable development organizations, policies and management. The report will be of interest to governments, international agencies, NGOs, business and academia linked as institutional stakeholders to environmental concerns.

Key words: environmental policies, gender sustainable development, social differentiation, gender mainstreaming

Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis [SEAGA] Guidelines for Emergency and Rehabilitation Programmes

184 pp. 2001. Produced by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization’s SEAGA programme and the World Food Program, this excellent mainstreaming resource provides both general guidance and specific approaches with particular focus on food security and food policy. Geared to operational staff and managers (and as a contribution to implementation of the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325 on women and armed conflict), the Guidelines offer both policy and practice guidelines. Useful general information on gender analysis is provided. This document supports the more practice-oriented Passport to Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Emergency Programmes - Key Analytical Questions for Designing Gender-Sensitive Humanitarian Interventions.

Available through FAO:

Key words: Practice, policy, gender analysis, emergency response, recovery

Hard Lessons Learned: Gender Notes for Tsunami Responders

Gender and Disaster Network, 2005, 2 pp. Recommendations for the response phase following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami consolidating recommendations from GDN members. Available through GDN.

Key words: Practice, policy, tsunami

Gender Equality in Disasters: Six Practical Rules for Working With Women and Girls

Gender and Disaster Network, 2005, 2 pp. Six areas of concern with practice guidelines prepared by members of the Gender and Disaster Network in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Available through GDN:

Key words: Practice guide, tsunami, women, girls

Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings

2005. 100 pp. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance.

Quoting the developers: These guidelines represent joint efforts of all its members and standing invitees namely: FAO, ICRC, ICVA, IFRC, InterAction, IOM, OCHA, OHCHR, SCHR, UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM, UNHCR, ,UNFPA, WFP, WHO. UNFPA coordinated the process of developing and publishing the guidelines on behalf of the Task Force. These Guidelines have been developed to respond to the growing need for effective activities to prevent and respond to Gender-Based Violence in crises. The purpose of these Guidelines is to enable communities, governments and cooperating agencies, including UN Agencies and NGOs, to coordinate the minimum required multi-sectoral response to Sexual Violence during the early phase of a crisis.

The Guidelines specifically details minimum interventions for prevention and response to sexual violence to be undertaken in the early stages of an emergency. In addition to background information, discussion of terminology and sample reporting forms, there are 25 very specific action sheets in these areas:

  • Coordination
  • Assessment and monitoring
  • Protection
  • Human Resources
  • Water and Sanitation
  • Food Security and Nutrition
  • Shelter, Site Planning and NFIs
  • Health
  • Education
  • Information, Education and Communication

Key words: IGO, gender analysis, practice guide, policy, gender-based violence, standard

Living With Risk: A Global Review of Disaster Reduction Initiatives

2004. Inter-Agency Secretariat of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR). Written for practitioners and anyone interested in disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action, and sustainable development, this 2004 edition features examples of action taken by individuals, communities, and governments around the world to avoid and reduce the risks and impacts of natural and technological hazards. It provides an overview of the evolution of the understanding of risk and disaster management; explores the concepts of risk and vulnerability; offers lessons on how to reduce risk and vulnerability to hazards; and discusses the importance of knowledge exchange and information management. Free online extracts are available at

Key words: IGO, technological hazard, training and education, policy, practice, sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian assistance, natural hazard, community participation, women's groups

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society: The Recruitment of Female Volunteers to Respond to Disasters

17 pp. 1999. Presents the strategy adopted by the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society on recruiting female volunteers in its disaster management programme. Available in English for postal costs only from the IFRC:

Key words: Bangladesh, emergency management, women professionals, emergency relief, voluntarism

Responding to Domestic Violence in Disaster: Guidelines for Women's Services and Disaster Practitioners

28 pp. 1997. Elaine Enarson. Discussion of domestic violence in the context of disasters based on research conducted in the US and Canada. Draft version of paper published in 1998 by Violence Against Women. Includes two sets of recommendations: one for emergency management authorities; one for antiviolence programs.

Available through GDN:

Key words: US, Canada, gender-based violence, practice guide, emergency management, women's group

Challenges to reproductive health in emergencies

Wilma Doedens (WHO) and Kate Burns (UN HCR), 2001. 12 pp. Thematic issue of the newsletter Health in Emergencies. Provides an excellent survey of critical reproductive health issues facing both women and men, with special attention to sexual and gender-based violence, safe motherhood in crises. Provides users with links to key documents and resources in the area. Available through Department of Emergency and Humanitarian Action, World Health Organization:

Key words: Health, gender-based violence, practice, IGO, reproductive health, men, women

Gender and Health in Disasters

World Health Organization, Department of Gender and Women’s Health, July 2002. 4 pp. Source:

World Health Organization fact sheets provide succinct introductions to key health concerns in disasters from a gendered perspective, including recommendations and resources. The short length makes them useful for work with practitioners and in community education.

Gender and Heatlh is very useful for the clear presentation of basic information and perspectives, including key definitions, the interactions of biological and social factors, gender roles of men in disasters, risk perception, gendered impacts including violence and psychosocial effects, and gender issues in relief systems. Concluding recommendations are offered about knowledge gaps and research needs, and about the implications of the gender patterns reviews for programmes and policies. Users are also referred to the WHO webpage for more policy statements with general guidelines and links to additional resources, particularly Gender and Women’s Health: Women and Disaster and Gender and Women’s Health: Gender-based Violence in Disasters.


Key words: Training, IGO, health, vulnerability, practice, policy, cross hazard, gender-based violence, research

Gender and Humanitarian Assistance Resource Kit

Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), 1999.

The IASC Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance, co-chaired by OCHA and WHO In May 1999, endorsed the “Policy Statement on Mainstreaming Gender into Humanitarian Response” and the related background document. This Resource Kit is intended to help IASC members, and others, to implement the policy.

The Kit is an excellent resource though now somewhat dated. It contains key analytic documents as well as many of the guidelines and checklists (also included in the Sourcebook). It is organized in these six major sections with links in each to 5-10 key documents:

-Mainstreaming gender in the humanitarian response to emergencies

-Policies and standards

-Analytic documents

-Best practice in gender mainstreaming in emergencies

-Guidelines and checklists

-Tools for planning and training

Users are directed in particular to the Gender and Emergencies Annex prepared by the FAO which includes supplementary descriptive material for many of the materials referenced in the Sourcebook.

Key words: IGO, gender mainstreaming, practice guides, policy, cross hazard, humanitarian response, good practice

Weaving Gender in Disaster and Refugee Assistance: A Report

Patricia Morris for InterAction, 1998. 48 pp. Available at 

Refugee and disaster assistance efforts have begun to grapple with gender issues and their effects on complex emergencies. To contribute to the development of “best practice” in this field, InterAction organized two opportunities for representatives of member agencies and donors to share experiences and lessons learned. This report therefore covers the two meetings and documents and presents new ways of working in the field, aimed at enabling both women and men to be full participants and beneficiaries in humanitarian and refugee assistance. With examples from Angola, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Eritrea, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Guinea, Cambodia, Bosnia, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, the report lists both challenges and success stories encountered when using a gender programming approach.

In addition, the report makes five recommendations on how to improve services by incorporating gender in the assistance to displaced persons, and also provides a checklist for the Identification of gender roles and needs during crises. The report strongly concludes that weaving gender into the goals, scope, and design of relief efforts should be at the core of what it means to provide emergency assistance. It will be of most interest to disaster responders including donors, humanitarian agencies, and relevant government departments.

Key words: gender and disaster response, gender and refugees, gender and displacement, practice, policy, cross hazard

Gender, Emergencies and Humanitarian Assistance

Bridget Byrne with Sally Baden, 1995. 82 pp. One of the earliest and strongest pieces on the practical issues facing girls and women in emergencies and how relief efforts can and should be reshaped to meet these. The authors argue against the vicitimization theme often implicit in traditional  women-and-development approaches. The full  participation of women as active subjects is called for and practical guides identified for promoting this. The report is still essential reading for policy development and practitioners.

Key words: policy, practice, emergency management, gender analysis, relief, women, girls, practice guide

Disaster risk reduction: mitigation and preparedness in development and emergency programming

Key words: NGO, practice, policy, community, mitigation, preparedness, risk methodology, natural hazard, aid programming, risk reduction, implementation

As Tsunami Recedes, Women's Risks Appear

4 pp. 2005, February 9. Corrie Pikul. Available through Women’s e-news:

The press release reports that women in the countries hit hardest by the tsunami face heightened risks of rape and other forms of violence and unmet health needs. Several groups are working to build public awareness of the dangers faced by women and the girls in the hardest tsunami hit countries: Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives, and to raise funds specifically earmarked to protect not only women’s physical safety, but also their health, dignity and psychological well being.

Key words: Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Maldives, violence, women, children, rape, physical abuse, health, aid distribution

The Impact of Disasters on Women

United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. 2002.
Pp. 315-326 in Section Five: Effects of Damages. Handbook for Estimating the Socio-Economic Effects of Natural Disasters.

The differential impacts of disasters on women are analyzed in this new section of the handbook, including discussion of measuring direct and indirect impacts on women’s productive and reproductive labor. A case study is inluded drawing on hurricane Mitch in El Salvador. The case study can be used alone for teaching or training or the chapter used as a model of research and policy analysis from a gender perspective. Available at

Key words: Vulnerability assessment, gender analysis, livelihood, El Salvador, hurricane Mitch

Gender, disaster and conflict: a human settlements perspective

UN Habitat Disaster Management Program, January 2004. 3 pp.
Available through Habitat:

This brief concept note from UN Habitat makes explicit the intersecting risks women face in conflict situations, natural disasters and the increasingly common convergence of these two forces. Several action points are identified. The document concludes: "Times of disaster and conflict leave populations in situations of crisis and upheaval. The way that men and women experience these crises are very different. Disaster and post conflict programming must, at its heart, seek to support populations to cope, recover, rebuild, and protect themselves against future threats. In order to do this, the different roles and capacities of men and women must be recognized, considered and built upon in the wider context of human development strategies. Thus, linking gender with disaster and post conflict programming is central for the connections between relief and development. These linkages will, in combination, help to promote reduction of vulnerability of whole populations, both women and men, to future risks, and promote gender equality and human development more broadly."

Key words: complex emergency, conflict, housing, men, women, vulnerability

Education in Emergencies

2005 (November draft), 7 pp. Source:

Draft chapter excerpted from the Handbook On Gender Mainstreaming In Humanitarian Action developed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and its partners. This chapter incorporates minimum standards and good practice models developed by Inter-Agency Network on Education in Emergencies to help planners anticipate and exploit opportunities for promoting gender sensitive educational programming in crisis response and reconstruction. The chapter, a model for those to follow, asks and answers these key questions: What must be known in order to meet minimal gender-fair standards in education in emergencies? What actions are needed to ensure gender mainstreaming in education in emergencies? What are the best indicators for assessing gender mainstreaming in education in emergencies?

Key words: Education, gender analysis, policy, practice guide, good practice

From the field: gender issues in disaster response and recovery

Kristina Peterson, 1997, 2 pp. Then a Disaster Recovery Specialist with Church World Service, the author draws on years of experience working with low-income women to move the discussion from vulnerabilities to the considerable leadership and organizational skills of grassroots women. Printed in a special edition of the Natural Hazards Observer on Women and Disasters 21 (5).

Available from the University of Colorado:

Key words: US, all hazard, grassroots, empowerment, multi-hazard, vulnerability, recovery

Battered Women in Disaster: A Case Study of Gendered Vulnerability

Elaine Enarson, 1998. Transcript of an on-line presentation and group discussion sponsored by the Emergency Information Infrastructure Partnership (EIIP) with supporting documents, guidelines for women’s services, guidelines for emergency managers, and additional materials. Available through the EIIP Forum Archives:

Key words: US, Canada, practice guide, gender-based violence, research, vulnerability

Making good policy into good practice

Greet, P., 1994, Focus on Gender, vol. 2 (1): pp.11-13.

"This paper looks at the role of women and the way they should be brought into development policy. It first examines their role in drought-stricken Mozambique, where women carried out their normal daily activities which kept their families alive, such as carrying heavy bundles of firewood and water and searching for food. They bore the strongest impact of the drought. When development workers and observers visit such areas, men tend to be the ones who speak up for the women, often giving a distorted picture of what really happens and the true picture of women. There has been a greater emphasis on providing more effectively for women by the UN and NGOs. However, the recurrence of emergencies or crises demonstrates the failure of development strategies. Part of the failure has been the result of marginalizing women's needs and women's role in production and development. There has been a failure to recognise the central role played by women. Some suggestions for ways to redress this situation are outlined. The first is the notion of gender awareness, where responses to and perceptions of women should be included; they should be consulted. Secondly, so as properly to address given situation, it is important to have an informed picture of the affected populations. Once this is done, it is possible to provide assistance in a way which is sensitive to women's needs. Finally, training and effective staff development policies should focus on strategies to bring more women into decision-making positions in relief and development organisations." (abstract in Gender and Emergency Annex)

Key words: Mozambique, drought, research, community, practice, policy, NGO, emergency response, development

Gender and Conflict Early Warning: A Framework for Action

Authors: Susanne Schmeidl  with Eugenia Piza-Lopez

Published by: International Alert and Swiss Peace Foundation

Date Published: June 2002 



The paper presents an initial framework on how to ‘engender’ early warning. More specifically, the process, and benefits can be understood as follows:

1. Incorporating gender-sensitive indicators into information collection and subsequent analysis allows for previously overlooked signs of instability to be taken into account and concentrates early warning at a grassroots level, anticipating conflict before it spreads to high politics.

2. Incorporating gender analysis and perspectives into the formulation of response options ensures discriminatory policies are not perpetuated in post-conflict situations, or new found freedoms reversed. It also ensures that responses at a political and humanitarian level address the vulnerabilities specific to women and men.

These proposals aim to make early warning more comprehensive, ‘earlier,’ and preventive actions more effective and permanent.As more comprehensive and quality early warning that include gender analysis increase the likelihood of political will, engendering early warning has far-reaching benefits that go beyond the protection of vulnerable groups. 


Key words: early warning, conflict, framework, indicators, grassroots, gender analysis

Gendered Vulnerability Analysis

Socio-economic Impacts of Natural Disasters: A Gender Analysis

Sarah Bradshaw for United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, 2004.

Serie Manuales 32 (English translation of original Spanish document) On line PDF document. Available through ECLAC:

This report was written as a guide to how best to include gender in post-disaster impact analysis drawing on the experiences of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. It begins with a consideration of some basic gender concepts including exploration of the household as a site of unequal gender power relations. The report then considers the direct and indirect impact of Mitch attempting to quantify the largely unrecorded losses that accrued to women specifically, such as destruction of patio or backyard cultivation and impact of reproductive activities. The secondary or indirect impacts of events such as Mitch are then discussed, focussing on the emotional impact of such events, the implications of the resultant rise in male migration for household structure and survival, and the impact of such violent ‘natural’ events on gender based violence. There is also consideration of the impact of such events on political processes, exploring in particular the role of women and women’s movements in the formulation of national plans for reconstruction. The impact of reconstruction projects on the lives of women and men are then considered, highlighting that these, if done badly, can have more serious and long term effects than the events themselves. The report ends by summarising the key findings and presenting recommendations for those interested in including a gender perspective in post-disaster impact evaluation.

Key words: Households; psychosocial; violence; womenís movements; impact analysis

Guidelines for Community Vulnerability Analysis: An Approach for Pacific Island Countries

Luc Vrolijks with the South Pacific Programme Office of the United Nations Department for Humanitarian Affairs and the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, SPDRP (RAS/92/360), March 1998, ISBN 982-364-003-3.

This document provides guidelines for community vulnerability analysis and action planning to reduce natural disaster impacts in communities in Pacific island countries. These guidelines can be used by national and local mitigation programmes, and in community development prorgrammes. Guidance is provided for ways in working with the community to analyze its disaster vulnerability, identify priorities, and plan actions to improve the community profile. The guidelines also focus on developing a community capacity profile. The guidelines focus on understanding all aspects of the community, with attention to areas used by men’s groups, women’s groups, and children. The vulnerability/capacity assessment provides scoring tables to identify livelihood and subsistence economic activities and community assets. The Annexes provide forms and formats for community situation analysis and action planning, including trend identification, seasonal calendars, schedule of daily activities, building classifications, construction types, economic activities, formats for a vulnerability and capacity profile, a format for identifying options for disaster reduction, a format for identifying options and resource needs, and an example action plan format. Step-by-step guidance is provided for facilitation teams.

Key words: Community Planning, Vulnerability Assessment, Capacity Building, Practice Guide, Public Education, Pacific Island countries

Working With Women at Risk: Practical Guidelines for Assessing Local Disaster Risk

94 pp. 2003. International action research project by Elaine Enarson, Marta Gonzáles, Lourdes Meyreles, Betty Hearn Morrow, Audrey Mullings, and Judith Soares The document includes a methodology for assessing community vulnerabilities and capacities from the perspectives of different groups of women trained as community researchers. Included in the step-by-step project guidelines are Guiding Research Questions for exploring vulnerabilities and capacities with grassroots women in risky environments, and producing and using community profiles based on this local research. The project was developed and field tested in the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Dominica, and El Salvador.

Section 1: Using the Guidelines.
Section 2: Where to Start.
Section 3: Conducting the Workshop.
Section 4:
Analyzing Vulnerability Data.
Section 5: Moving from Knowledge to Action.

The document contains tips for organizing a grassroots disaster vulnerability assessment project working with women’s or other community groups. Included are workshop guides, agenda and training materials as well as ideas for using the research as a tool for social action.

Available in Spanish and English through the Gender and Disaster Network: w Women English .pdf

Key words: vulnerability analysis, capacity building, women's groups, grassroots, cross hazard, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia, Dominica, El Salvador

Half the world is women but empowerment and environmental progress are lacking

Starre Vartan. 8 pp. 2004 Feature article from that provides a good international overview of how the everyday living conditions of women and particularly their roles as environmental resource users and managers fosters increased vulnerability to natural hazards and disasters. A good introductory piece written in a casual tone with concrete examples for use in community education or the college classroom. Available through E Magazine:

Key words: Public education, vulnerability, gender analysis

Can vulnerability be understood?

1998. Mihir Bhatt. Pp. 68-77 in John Twigg and Mihir Bhatt (eds.) Understanding Vulnerability: South Asian Perspectives. Colombo, Sri Lanka: Intermediate Technology Publications, Duryo

Key words: Research, vulnerabilty assessment, narrative, Asia

Rising From the Ashes: Developing Strategies in Times of Disaster

1989. Mary Anderson and Peter Woodrow.. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Key words: Community, capacity building, recovery, development, gender analysis

Gendering vulnerability analysis: Towards a more nuanced approach

2004. Maureen Fordham. In G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, & D. Hillhorst (Eds.), Mapping vulnerability: Disasters, development, and people (pp. 174-182). London: Earthscan.

Key words: vulnability, gender analysis, research

Practice Guides And Checklists

Promoting Social Justice In Disaster Reconstruction: Guidelines For Gender-Sensitive And Community-Based Planning

E. Enarson , 2001 5 pp. A practice note prepared for the Disaster Mitigation Institute, Ahmedabad, Gujarat in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake. Includes points of attention regarding livelihood, violence, housing, participation and other areas of concern. Available through the GDN:

Key words: Practice, policy, India, earthquake, cross hazard, gender analysis

Working with women in emergency relief and rehabilitation programmes

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Field Studies Paper 2, 1991. 22 pp. The guide, one example of gender-sensitive materials from the IFRC, highlights the particular needs of women who have experienced various violent situations such as rape and armed conflict. It offers a brief background and some basic recommendations useful in both planning and running of relief and rehabilitation programmes.

Key words: practice guide, INGO, gender violence, IFRC

Algunas ideas para integrar un analisis de género y generacional a las acciones de alivio y los programas de reconstrucción

Sarah Bradshaw, Puntos de Encuentro, Managua, Nicaragua, 1998 pp5. Spanish language
A short briefing document written to help inform policy makers and programme planners of the gendered aspects of relief and reconstruction post-disaster. The document summarises some of the literature related to gender and disasters and highlights the importance of issues such as gender based violence and the psychosocial impact of disasters as well as presenting a number of key tools, such as the Capability and Vulnerability matrix, and ‘tips’ on engendering disaster responses.

Key words: NIcaragua, vulnerability, housing, violence, recovery, reconstruction, gender analysis, practice

HIV/AIDS Toolkit For Emergencies

World Vision, 2004, pp. 25. World Vision Africa Relief Office. Electronic copies available through Hector Jalipa, World Vision’s HIV/ AIDS Response Coordinator-Africa Region.

This gendered toolkit is designed for World Vision staff members, both specialists and generalists, who may be involved in the implementation of a humanitarian response. The aim of this toolkit is to enable World Vision staff to deliver a gender-sensitive multi-sectoral response to HIV/AIDS in a relief setting. Knowledge of HIV and AIDS is important for food aid specialists, health and nutrition professionals, project managers and all those involved in emergency response or who may be collaborating with partner agencies in relief situations. The toolkit highlights factors that cause HIV/AIDS to have a greater impact on women and discusses issues that heighten the effect of HIV/AIDS on women during emergency settings. The tool kit progresses by indicating ways how a gendered response to HIV/AIDS can be woven into every emergency response sector. For instance, the provision of shelter is a high priority during the boiling stage of an emergency. But during the site planning exercise, certain considerations must be made to protect women against sexual violence. HIV/AIDS is a protection issue in relation to sexual and gender violence, and the lack of access to basic relief items may lead to exchanging sex for food or non-food items. The toolkit will be of most interest to emergency response programmers, donors, and humanitarian advocacy groups.

Key words: HIV/AIDS and emergencies, engendering HIV/ AIDS responses, weaving HIV/ AIDS into key response sectors

Gender mainstreaming guidelines for disaster management programmes: a principled socio-economic and gender analysis approach

Angus Graham, 2001.Paper prepared for the Expert Working Group meeting, Ankara, Turkey.
Available through the UN Division for the Advancement of Women:

Key words: IGO, gender mainstreaming, policy, practice, FAO SEAGA

Food Aid and Gender in Emergencies

UN World Food Programme (WFP). On-line through CRID:


Key words: fact sheet, IGO, health, relief

Gender Equity And Humanitarian Response

Susan Smith (ed.), 2001 issue of LINKS. 11 pp. ID: 13986. Available through CRID:

Key words: NGO, humanitarian relief, practice, policy

Passport to Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective in Emergency Programmes: Key Analytical Questions for Designing Gender-Sensitive Humanitarian Interventions

Food and Agricultural Organization and World Food Programme, 2003. 36 pp. Available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, and Spanish from the FAO:

Developed by the FAO and the WFP in conjunction with related materials, the “passport” is a planning tool geared to local residents, community groups, humanitarian relief organizations and others.  A series of key assessment questions are posed to encourage gender-sensitive data collection and analysis as the basis for designing and implementing gender-sensitive interventions. The broad-based, cross-sectoral and participatory approach adopted makes this an especially useful framework for planning, implementing and evaluating emergency interventions that serve all people.

Key words: Cross hazard, IGO, practice, policy, gender analysis, planning

Gender Considerations in Disaster Assessment

World Health Organizations, 2005. One page. Summary of key questions to be asked and answered, prepared by the World Health Organization. An excellent overview that addresses common areas of concern (e.g. women as carers, specific sanitary supplies) and also the vulnerability of girls and women to sexual exploitation and abuse. Six basic principles are put forward. Available through WHO:

Key words: IGO, practice guide, vulnerability assessment, cross hazard

Checklist for Integration of Gender and Women's Human Rights

7 pp. 1999. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The document includes a wide range of focus areas for establishing if or how well women’s human rights are recognized, protected and realized. Areas with sample questions include: General questions on gender integration; Reports and other documents; Legal and conceptual frameworks (General questions; questions related to needs assessment missions).

Key words: health, practice, human rights, IGO, gender analysis

Key Gender Issues in the South Asia Earthquake Response

2 pp. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Task Force on Gender and
Humanitarian Assistance fact sheet. Examines gender and age issues with a preliminary checklist for use in assessments and fact-finding missions.

Available at:

Key words: IGO, practice, fact sheet, age, gender analysis, relief

Paying attention to women's and gender issues in responding to the tsunami crisis

Madhavi Ariyabandu, 2005. 4 pp. Available through Practical Action (Formerly ITDG South Asia), 05, Lionel Edirisinghe Mawatha, Colombo 5, Sri Lanka, Email:

The note was prepared for the purpose of drawing the attention of the relief and recovery agencies on the severe gaps on gender awareness demonstrated in the tsunami aftermath in Sri Lanka. It highlights the key areas of concern from women’s and gender points of view in different phases; emergency management; response; recovery; and rehabilitation.  References are included. Built around the tsunami, this piece is an excellent guide for tsunami responders but can readily be adapted to other contexts. Its specificity as well as its scope make it especially valuable.  

Key words: Sri Lanka, tsunami, gender analysis, practice

Gender sensitive practice checklist for organizations

1999. Elaine Enarson. Guide to organizational self-assessment for gender sensitive emergency management. Available through the GDN: 

Key words: Gender analysis, emergency management, practice, policy

Gender Sensitive Programming by Sector: A Synthesis

2005. Elaine Enarson. Compilation of widely available practice guidelines by sector for disaster risk management. Available through the GDN: 

Key words: Practice guide, policy, gender analysis

Matrix for Gender Based Violence Interventions in Emergency Settings

2005, one page.  The matrix sums up in a user-friendly fashion the critical points from the larger  IASC Guidelines on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance in support of the Tool Kit for Gender-Based Violence Intervention.  Available through GDN:

Key words: Cross hazard, IGO, gender violence, practice guide

Gender-Sensitive Post-Disaster Rehabilitation Guidance: Empowerment

Published by:  International Recovery Platform

Entry points for gender mainstreaming in training and education, physical and mental health and empowerment. Part of the Knowledge for Recovery series.



Key words: empowerment, post-disaster, rehabilitation

Discussion and Analysis

Caught in the Storm: The Impact of Natural Disasters on Women

Lin Chew and Kavita N. Ramdas, 2005. 8 pp, illustrated. Available through the Global Fund for Women:

The report was written in collaboration with members of the Coalition of Tsunami Affected Women, the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault and other women’s groups responding to disaster. Includes essential information about likely impacts on women and seven key recommendations: include women in pre-and post-disaster planning; keep women safe; protect girls’ education; target women’s health needs; help women become self-sufficient; ensure equal aid distribution; and, importantly, bring women into all decision-making processes. It also highlights the grants provided through the Global Fund following the Asian tsumami, hurricanes Katrina, Stan and Mitch, and the Kashmir earthquake.

Key words: US, cross hazard, NGO, women's group, capacity building, policy, practice, empowerment, grassroots, emergency management

The Tsunami's Impact on Women

14 pp. 2005, March. Oxfam International Briefing Note. This widely cited report provides empirical support for the observations made by many that the 2004 tsunami cost more women than men their lives due to the everyday living patterns of women and men and cultural constructions of gender. It is especially valuable for providing close profiles of the gender dimensions of this event in areas across the 4 main countries affected rather than offering only generalized anaysis. The report will be useful to academics as well as practitioners and policy-makers.

Key words: INGO, tsunami, gender analysis, vulnerability, impacts

Aid Groups See Opportunity for Women in Tsunami Recovery

Kimberly Abbott. Short profile based on gender analysis of post-disaster impacts and opportunities.

Key words: Asia, tsunami, women's group, NGO, recovery, empowerment

Women and the Tsunami: Ensuring Effective Reconstruction

Available through the Disaster Watch website:

Key words: Tsunami, women's groups, livelihood, recovery

Voices of Solidarity: International Women Activists Share Their Perspective on the Katrina Disaster.

4 pp. 2005. Based on feedback from grassroots women’s rights groups active in other crisis situations, this short report outlines 12 key action points toward gender-fair disaster response and recovery following the Katrina disaster.

Noticing gender (or not) in disasters

Joni Seager, 2005. Op Ed piece to the Chicago Tribune about women and gender in hurricane Katrina. Available through GDN:

Key words: Public education, US, hurricane Katrina, gender analysis

Women and Girls Last? Averting the Post-Katrina Disaster

3 pp. 2005. Elaine Enarson. Op Ed piece to the Denver Post republished in original form on the Social Science Research Council’s webpage Undertanding Katrina:

The Disproportionate Impact of Natural Disasters on Women: Roundtable Panel and Discussion

2002, January 17. UN Division for the Advancement of Women event for the NGO Committee on the Status of Women during the 23rd Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Women 2000: Gender Equality, Development, and Peace for the 21st Century.

Available through CSW:

Summaries are available of presentations by:

Muhammed Enayet Mowla, Permament Mission, Bangladesh
Carolyn Hanna, Director, UN DAW
Jan Peterson, Huairou Commission on Women, Homes and Community

Key words: Conference, gender analysis, cross hazard, grassroots

Report of the Task Force on Protection From Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Humanitarian Crises

8 pp. 2002. Produced by the task force comprised of members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) which represents the FAO, OCHA, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, and WHO as well as standing members (ICRC, ICVA, IFRC, InterAction, IOM, SCHR, RSG/IDPs, UNHCHR, and the World Bank). The report evaluates progress toward relief work geared to mitigating gender violence and responding to those affected both by disaster and violence. Areas of concern are identified and recommendations made to the IASC in the areas of prevention, response and management, and implementation.

Key words: IGO, gender violence, cross-hazard, practice, policy, human rights

APR0DEV Background Paper on Gender and Emergencies

5 pp. Hans Zomer. September, 1996. A state-of-the-art summary of how women and gender concerns are being taken up by European and North American governmental and nongovernmental organizations. Useful for an historical perspective on the development of the field. Also an early statement of frustration: “What is needed is not another set of guidelines, next to those that already exist. What is important, is to consider existing guidelines and to make sure that such guidelines are in fact workable in day-to-day humanitarian aid activities in our own organizations. . . ‘Gender and emergencies’ is not just something of importance in refugee camps and food aid operations. It is something that challenges our decision-making processes and structures. . . that may be hard to change.”

Key words: Cross hazard, NGOs, policy, practice

The intersection of gender and social class in disaster: balancing resilience and vulnerability

1999. Maureen Fordham. International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters 17 (1): 15-36.

Those who experience disaster are widely regarded as an undifferentiated group, labeled "victims." In the immediate crisis period, it is difficult for professionals to differentiate, except crudely, between varying levels of need and still carry out urgent duties and responsibilities. However, it soon becomes apparent that some are hit harder than others and that disasters are not the great levelers they are sometimes considered to be. Close examination reveals complex variations within, and not just between, social groups broadly understood as middle- and working-class. This paper examines the intersection of gender and social class in two major flood events and argues for a more nuanced appreciation of these factors, at both the conceptual and the practical level, to be incorporated throughout the disaster process. (AA)


Key words: Gender analysis, vulnerability assessment, policy, cross hazard

Women's place at home their undoing in Kashmir quake

2005. 13 October. News article by David Fox, Reuters.

A majority of estimated 40,000 victims of the quake were women and children. While many Pakistani women have achieved success almost in every field, in rural Pakistan conservative Muslim values and tradition of veil mean women are seldom seen or heard outside their own homes, and have little influence. The article indicates this situation condemned thousands of Pakistani women to death in the quake. It further says that the distribution of aid in the disaster area is a male affair.

Key words: Kashmir, earthquake, women, rural society, emergency response, accessing relief

Disasters and the cycle of poverty: understanding urban, rural, and gender aspects of social vulnerability

Kathy Lynn, University of Oregon. 2005. 12 pp. Paper presented to 5th Annual Conference of the Global Studies Association (UK) ‘Global Poverty or Global Justice?’ University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 7th – 9th September 2005. Available through the GDN:

The cycle of poverty and connection to disasters is evident in historic and present losses and impacts from disasters in developing countries and poor communities all over the world. The trend during the last three decades shows an increase in the number of natural hazard events and an increase in the number of people affected. As the worlds’ population continues to grow and develop in areas exposed to natural hazards, so does the risk of potential loss of life, property, and natural and cultural resources.
This paper examines the impacts natural disasters have on poor communities all over the world, and the ways in which poverty and social vulnerability exacerbate disaster risk. In which ways are poor and underserved communities more at risk to natural disasters than high capacity communities and wealthier nations? What factors need to be considered in order to target appropriate assistance to socially vulnerable communities at risk from natural disasters? This paper provides background information on social vulnerability and disasters and recommendations for policy and programs to better meet the needs of low-income and underserved communities and nations.

Key words: Conference, gender analysis, development, policy, practice, livelihood

Natural Disasters And The Role Of Women

Jacqueline Sims, 2004. Pp.429-443 in Joseph Stoltman, John Lidstone and Lisa Dechano (eds.), International Perspectives on Natural Disasters: Occurrence, Mitigation, and Consequences. Dordrecht/Boston/London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Provides a succinct and analytic overview of key themes with ample case material from different disaster events. Useful for higher education or as a background piece for journalists to highlight the need for gender-sensitive policy and practice.

Key words: Cross-hazard, gender analysis

What is the role of women in natural disasters?

2005. Janice Duddy. Useful introduction to gender-based vulnerability with examples from around the world.

Key words: Gender anaysis, cross hazard

What redress have victims of the Bhopal gas disaster received?

2004, 17 December, 2004. Kathambi Kinoti. 'An interview with Dr Usha Ramanathan, an expert on law and poverty, who has devoted her time to several human rights and environmental causes, including the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.

Key words: Health, research, toxic contamination, human rights

Consider women's needs in New Orleans rescue efforts

Sep 06, 2005. Available through Association for Women's Rights in Development:

Short commentary arguing that "awareness of gender issues in emergencies should go beyond the traditional concern with women and children.” Useful for introducing key issues of equity and equality.

Key words: US, hurricane Katrina, gender analysis, public education

Noticing Gender (or not) in Disasters

2005, September 14. Joni Seager. Editorial comment published in the Chicago Tribune. Available through the GDN:

Key words: US, hurricane Katrina, public education

"Why more men die in floods?"

A study of U.S. thunderstorm-related deaths from 1994 to 2000 found that men were more than twice as likely to die than women. Of the 1,442 fatalities, 70% were men, according to research by Thomas Songer at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health. Most of the deaths happened outside the home during flash floods or lightning strikes. That is partly because men are more likely to be outside for their jobs. But men are also more likely to take risks of all kinds - which can be a fatally bad idea in ugly weather." Article written by Amanda Ripley from Time Online.,8599,1817603,00.html

Key words: floods, hazards, men, masculinity, US, risks,

Men and gender justice: old debate, new perspective

 The expanding intellectual interest in "masculinities" is welcome but needs greater involvement by gender-justice and women's-rights specialists if it is to be the vehicle of progress, says Emily Esplen. Published by Emily Esplen and

Key words: men, gender justice, masculinity, women's rights

“Controversial appointment of UNIFEM Executive Director”

From Resource Net, AWID. The appointment of Spain's Inés Alberdi as UNIFEM's Executive Director last week has attracted significant interest, with mixed reactions from different women's rights activists and organizations. Rochelle Jones from AWID explores some of the initial responses to Alberdi's appointment, and highlights the main issues raised.

Key words: AWID, UNIFEM, Ines Alberdi, Spain