Gender equality approaches in disaster risk reduction

RCC/Blog/Coherence and Inclusion/Gender equality approaches in disaster risk reduction

Gender-equality is intersectional, denoting the interaction of multiple dimensions that influence and determine the existence and degree of disparities. Such aspects are social status, economic and financial status, geographical remoteness, belief, cultural practices, social norms and values, education and literacy, rights and entitlement, such as land ownership, inheritance rights, and social network, among others

Within the disaster risk reduction (DRR) domain, the search for ways to address gender equality should be evidence-based, focused on reducing the gendered disaster risks. This will require enhancing’s women’s access to information, strengthening women’s voice in DRR planning and decision-making at the local level, and moving away from merely meeting women’s “specific needs” to supporting their strategic interests during the pre-disaster phase. Gender-equality in DRR is beyond addressing the service delivery issues, and rather it requires a transformative change that makes communities safer for women and girls.

The impacts of disasters discriminate against most vulnerable people due to a variety of issues. However, a significant part of the community suffers social exclusion from disaster risk reduction initiatives because of their gender and age. Gender-based exclusion from risk awareness, disaster preparedness and planning build a vicious cycle setting the stage for disproportionate impacts of disasters on women, girls, boys and men. Breaking this pattern of gender inequality in disasters is crucial to addressing vulnerabilities and enhancing the resilience of the whole society.

Building resilience through inclusive and climate-adaptive disaster risk reduction (BRDR) program aims to bring about more clarity on the interface of gender equality within the DRR domain. The program explores how gender-equal approaches are being perceived and understood in different context and identifying practical options to put this into actions at the local level, thus reducing gendered risk and ensuring safer communities for all. Through which, the program is looking to integrate gender-equal approaches into different thematic areas including risk assessment, DRR mainstreaming, emergency preparedness and response, DRR data management and progress monitoring and women empowerment.

The BRDR program is supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and implemented jointly by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute (RWI). Find out more about the BRDR program here.

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