With more than 130 million affected by crises, efforts to improve the quality of humanitarian response over the past 20 years have produced an abundance of tools, guidelines and markers, especially with respect to gender equality.
For the first time, humanitarian experts have designed a tool which, based on a code, provides an automatic and objective calculation of the quality of humanitarian programming. The Gender with Age Marker, which replaces the old IASC Gender Marker, has been piloted since 2015. The IASC GAM codes programs and projects on a 0-4 scale, based on responses to questions about 12 key gender equality measures. Users consistently report finding the multiple choice questions easy to answer, and the simple guidance provided with the results, helpful.
The GAM is much more than a gender marker with a monitoring phase as well as a design phase. It examines levels of accountability, protection and addresses the concept of “leaving no one behind”.
Updating the original 2006 handbook, the new version reflects current humanitarian coordination mechanisms and the recent commitment gains towards gender in humanitarian action developed at international fora such as the World Humanitarian Summit, the Grand Bargain and the Sendai Framework Agreement. The revised version is a concise guide built upon lessons learned by the humanitarian community and reflects the main challenges faced in ensuring that gender equality and women’s empowerment are mainstreamed throughout the assessment, planning, resource mobilization, implementation and monitoring stages of the humanitarian programme cycle.
The Gender Reference Group and UN Women, are pleased to announce the launch of an online version of the updated IASC Gender Handbook for Humanitarian Action. The platform contains practical information, case studies, and sector-by-sector guidance on mainstreaming and integrating gender aspects across all stages of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle. The site is fully navigable, and inclusive of cross references, footnotes, annexes and glossary definitions. It is available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
The review of the handbook was undertaken by the IASC Gender Reference Group in 2016. It was endorsed by the IASC to meet collective commitments on gender equality in humanitarian action and it promises to be a powerful tool for all actors engaged in the advancement of gender equality in humanitarian action.
The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Policy on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWG) in Humanitarian Action was endorsed on 29 December 2017 by the IASC Working Group. The policy sets out the principles, standards, and actions that IASC Bodies, Members and Standing Invitees should abide by at global and field level to integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls into all aspects of the IASC's work, including preparedness, response and recovery efforts.
The Accountability Framework, endorsed on 29 December 2017 by the IASC Working Group, accompanies the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Policy on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women and Girls (GEEWG) in Humanitarian Action, as it is designed to assist the IASC hold itself accountable for its implementation. It focuses on the collective actions of the IASC vis-à-vis GEEWG. It defines the monitoring of the collective performance of the IASC on standards defined in the Policy, as well as the performance of IASC bodies with regards to fulfilling their roles and responsibilities listed in the Policy. It further establishes reporting facilities and ways of information-sharing in order to foster closer coordination and cooperation among IASC bodies and Members and Standing Invitees.
The Guidelines for Integrating Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Action were developed to assist humanitarian actors and communities affected by armed conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian emergencies to coordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate essential action for the prevention and mitigation of gender based violence (GBV) across all sectors of humanitarian action.
The guidelines goals are:
To reduce risk of GBV by implementing GBV prevention and mitigation strategies across all areas of humanitarian response from pre-emergency through to recovery stages;
To promote resilience by strengthening national and community-based systems that prevent and mitigate GBV, and by enabling survivors and those at risk of GBV to access care and support;
To aid recovery of communities and societies by supporting local and national capacity to create lasting solutions to the problem of GBV
Please find additional resources to support the GBV Guidelines, as well as translations here.
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
Sexual violence is being systematically and rampantly used in conflict situations as a method of war to brutalize and instilinstill fear in the civilian population, especially women and girls. The individual and collective responsibility to respect the highest standards of the law and to fully comply with the UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13) must be re-emphasized. The IASC commits to urgent and concerted action aimed at preventing gender-based violence, in particular sexual violence, ensuring appropriate care and follow up for victims/survivors are accessible and working towards holding perpetrators accountable.
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