The IASC Regional Network Ad Hoc Working Group developed this Gender in Humanitarian Action product. In humanitarian response - whether in the context of natural disaster, protracted crisis or conflict - the needs of women, men, girls and boys are different and distinct. Crises exacerbate pre-existing gender based discrimination and inequalities thereby blocking access for women and girls to basic services and rights, economic livelihoods, meaningful representation in planning and decision-making processes, also increasing risks to gender based violence. At the same time women and men are equipped with different knowledge, skills and capacities to deal with crisis which need to be adequately utilized. Ignoring gender considerations in humanitarian action in South and Central Asia will risk exacerbating inequalities, diminish the effectiveness of response and recovery efforts, and undermine communities’ resilience.
The handbook sets forth standards for the integration of gender issues from the outset of a new complex emergency or disaster. The handbook aims to provide actors in the field with guidance on gender analysis, planning and actions to ensure that the needs; contribution; and capacities of women, girls, boys and men are considered in all aspects of humanitarian response.
The handbook consists of two parts.
1) The first part provides gender background and fundamental principles, such as the basics of gender equality, the international legal framework for protection, coordination of gender equality in emergencies, and gender and participation in humanitarian action
2) The second part describes gender specific areas of work, such as camp coordination, education, food issues, health, livelihoods, non-food items, registration, shelter and WASH
This policy statement sets out actions for IASC coordination bodies to ensure gender equality in all IASC work towards more effective and coherent humanitarian action. The policy statement builds on the IASC 1999 “Policy Statement for the Integration of a Gender Perspective in Humanitarian Assistance”.
The policy statement also sets out the responsibilities of the Humanitarian Country Team. It describes specific actions each body or effort of the IASC community should take to ensure that gender equality is fully mainstreamed into humanitarian programmes. It calls on members of the IASC community to work in an inter-agency fashion towards the goal of gender equality in all aspects of humanitarian response. It also urges individual members to strengthen their own actions to ensure that the human rights of women, girls, boys and men are equally promoted and protected as their different needs and responsibilities addressed.
The Guidelines for Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a tool for field actors in the humanitarian community to establish a multi-sectoral coordinated approach to gender-based violence in emergency settings. It provides practical advice on how to ensure that humanitarian assistance and protection programmes for displaced populations are safe, and do not directly or indirectly increase women’s and girls’ risk to sexual violence. It also details what response services should be in place to meet the needs of survivors/victims of sexual violence.
The guidelines consist of four parts:
1) Part one introduces gender-based violence interventions in emergencies, the purpose and how to use the guidelines, and the nature and extent of GBV in humanitarian emergencies
2) Part two presents GBV terms and definitions to clarify meaning of the terms used in this document
3) Part three provides recommendations and an overview of key GBV interventions for preventing and responding to sexual violence in emergencies
4) Part four provides action sheets for minimum prevention and response in coordination, assessment and monitoring, protection, human resources, WASH, food issues, shelter, health, education, and information
Complex emergencies and natural disasters have a differentiated impact on men and women which often affect their realization of rights. In complex emergencies, men account for the largest number of combatants while women and children comprise the largest section of civilians affected by conflict. Well-documented field practice has shown that gender-sensitive humanitarian assistance can help mitigate the different and negative effects of complex emergencies and natural disasters on men and women and have a greater impact for positive change in gender roles.
The IASC have committed to:
1) Formulate specific strategies for ensuring that gender issues are brought into the mainstream of activities within the IASC areas of responsibility
2) Ensure data is disaggregated by sex and age and that a gender perspective is included in analysis of information
3) Develop capacity for systematic gender mainstreaming in programmes, policies, actions, and training
4) Ensure reporting and accountability mechanisms for activities and results in gender mainstreaming within the UN and partners, such as incentives, performance evaluations, budget allocation analysis and actions for redressing staff imbalance