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Gender and Disaster Network


Gender & Disaster News & Resources

The Gender & Disaster Pod E-Newsletter for April is out. Go here

Check out some new resources from BRIDGE: Five reasons why gender matters for migrants' rights [here] and How to work with men and boys [here]

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Protecting Persons with Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities: A Global Report on UNHCR's Efforts to Protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Asylum-Seekers and Refugees, December 2015, available here

DFID 2015 What works in addressing violence against women and girls? Lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan: Workshop Report | Link | Download

See also from that Workshop the presentation by Marcy Hersh of Refugees:
International Backlash in GBV humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan? Link

‘Community Resilience at Scale: Grassroots Women Demonstrating Successful Practices’ shares successful grassroots strategies for building community resilience to disasters and climate change. It showcases women leading sustainable development in their communities, and features scaling up strategies in order to influence global agendas such as the Hyogo Framework for Action 2 and Post 2015 Development Agenda. Download Link

The WomanStats Project - compilation of information on the status of women. It facilitates understanding the linkage between the situation of women and the security of nation-states by searching the literature and conducting expert interviews. It is based on over 350 indicators of women's status in 175 countries.

CARE: 2015 and beyond: Action for a just, gender-equitable and sustainable future. Link. Download.

Resilience in times of food insecurity: Reflecting on the experiences of women's organizations. Oxfam Canada report in Spanish, French and English | Link

Researchers investigate the impacts of bushfires on the Blue Mountains LGBTI community Link

"Don't forget men," first women and climate summit advised. Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 6 Aug 2014 link

UNISDR 2014 Asia-Pacific Input Document for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (HFA2) FINAL DRAFT: Risk sensitive development as the cornerstone of resilience and sustainability | Link to download | Local copy

SHELTERING DISPLACED PERSONS FROM SEXUAL & GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE This publication presents four reports that examine shelters in Haiti, Kenya, Colombia and the Thailand/Burma border | Link to download


HPN Network Paper 77 - Preventing and responding to gender-based violence in humanitarian crises
by Rebecca Holmes and Dharini Bhuvanendra. Link to download | Video links for launch

'Impact of the Chars Livelihoods Programme on the disaster resilience of Chars communities' Chars Livelihoods Programme (CLP), 2014. It was found in the study that female participants scored less than the males before CLP support. However in the areas where households had received the CLP support package, females scored higher than their male counterparts. Link | Download

If you are setting up or restructuring an organization then take a look at this: Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) have produced a new Arrow Resource Kit (ARK) setting out their tried and tested management practices that reflect feminist principles. Link or Download [6MB]

'Ending Violence Against Women: The Case for a Comprehensive International Action Plan' Oxfam 2013 Link [220kb]

FAO 2013 State of School Feeding Worldwide. Download (5MB)| Link

Oxfam 2013 Minimum Standards for Gender in Emergencies. Link | Download 299KB

'Women's Voices From The Floodplains: an economic gender lens on responses in disaster affected areas in Queensland and Victoria' by economic Security4Women (eS4W) and Justice Equality Rights Access International (JERA)here

'WOMEN, GIRLS AND DISASTERS: A review for DFID' by Sarah Bradshaw and Maureen Fordham, August 2013 here

What's New Archive


Welcome to the Gender and Disaster Network

African Centre for Disaster Studies 27



What do you think are the latest discourses in gender and DRR?

GDN members recently discussed what they thought were some of the newer ideas about gender and DRR. What we noted was how far we have come since the early days of addressing gender and disasters, when it was very much about just making women visible at all.

Here are GDN's (ongoing) suggestions:

1. A shift away from only considering women as vulnerable and towards recognising their capacities; from seeing women as born vulnerable to realizing their strength of resilience which is key to disaster recovery and risk reduction
2. A greater emphasis on rights-based approaches instead of needs-based approaches
3. The inclusion of girls and not just women
4. A focus on violence against women and girls (VAWG)
5. Emphasise that CHILDREN are affected by violence. We do a disservice to boy children by excluding them, as if they are not vulnerable or even more so in the aftermath of a disaster
6. A focus on broadening the concept of gender to include, in addition to women and girls:
a. men and masculinities;
b. LGBTI and those who do not identify with western-based categories of sexual identity
c. other social categories (age, race/ethnicity, etc)
7. A shift away from a gender/women and single hazard approach towards risk reduction and development concerns
8. The beginnings of a collaboration between those who work mostly on disaster risk reduction and those whose emphasis is more on climate change (DRR and CCA) including climate linked coping mechanisms in conjunction with the traditional modes of survival that women and other householders use in times of emergency
9. Human Trafficking and Violence against Women and Children in the aftermath of a disaster
10. Gendered disaster vulnerabilities across the age spectrum, especially for older persons
11. Strengthening resilience and knowledge about how the body releases trauma and restores health and wellbeing. Developing a "Trauma Risk Reduction" integrative approach based on psychobiological knowledge, information and wisdom.
12. Women's Health in Emergency Care and the establishment of educational and research endeavors that promote sex- and gender-specific medicine and women's health as it relates to the practice of emergency medicine
13. Increasing focus on the unique health and hygiene needs of women and girls, particularly menstrual health
14. Action on sexual reproductive health and rights more broadly
15. NGOs' and grassroots groups' exploitation of media platforms to preserve & claim women's rights, and legal measures to prevent violence against women as well girls
16. Shifting from just physical assessments to the inclusion of the social and the household in damage assessments
17. Greater awareness of how ground realities do and should shape DRR work at higher levels
18. The impact the discourse on the participation of women, children, LGBT etc. in community-based DRR has had on participation more broadly (ie trickle down of inclusivity)
19. Interest in the role of women in sustainability in DRR, development and recovery
20. Beginnings of a shifting from vulnerability reduction and aid, to economic opportunities and investments to support gendered DRR and recovery
21. Investing in capacity building for women and children in early warning systems
22. Leadership and communication
23. Inclusion of adolescent girls and boys and establishment of friendly spaces, services and information
24. And a cautionary note:
There is a concern that singling out particular groups may lead to exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness, which may be problematic. Addressing unequal power relations underpinning disaster risk requires dialogue rather than a silo approach, i.e. those with power need to recognise that gender affects others' vulnerability and capacities. Therefore, it is suggested to clarify up front that, by nature, gender in DRR is about girls and women, boys and men, LGBTIs, and all those who do not identify within the Western male-female binary nor within LGBTI 'categories', and that all these identities intersect with age, race/ethnicity, physical ability, etc. However, sometimes exclusiveness is necessary to bring focus and understanding of needs, capacities, vulnerabilities of a specific group until they get included.

If there is a volunteer (or volunteers) out there willing to do some literature searching to back up these suggestions with evidence thenplease contact Maureen Fordham at

A new network in Austria - we4DRR

Between 2 to 4 March 2016 the network, Women Exchange 4 Disaster Risk Reduction, was launched at a Symposium in Hittisau, Austria. International female experts met to set the basis for a network in Europe.

The symposium was organised by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU). The network aims to enable professional and personal exchanges of knowledge on an international level. The major topics will be gender issues in the context of disaster risk reduction and increasing the visibility of female experts in the field.

© die.wildbach


It's that time of year again...

Nominations sought for the 2016 Mary Fran Myers award

The Mary Fran Myers Award is an annual opportunity to recognize individuals or organizations whose efforts have made a positive difference in advancing gender-sensitive policy, practice, or research in the area of disaster risk reduction. The nomination deadline is 02 May 2016. Please go to this page for further details.

Last year's recipient Akiko Dōmoto has made many positive gains toward advancing gender-sensitive policy through her leadership and advocacy as former governor of Chiba Prefecture, her membership in Parliament Upper House of Japan in the 1990s, serving as the first female Vice President of IUCN, as well as her continued engagement as the President of Japan Women's Network for Disaster Risk Reduction. Thank you again Akiko for all of your efforts and for continuing to inspire us to integrate gender into DRR.

Please contact Cheney Shreve or Maureen Fordham with any questions.

Sendai meeting agrees new platform

UNISDR Science and Technology Conference on the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. 27-29 January 2016 Geneva, Switzerland

Report by Kevin Blanchard

Gender featured heavily in the UNISDR Science and Technology Conference. Discussions ranged from the Opening Plenary session where Stella Gama (Assistant Director of Forestry, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining in Malawi) argued for inclusion of gender equality in both application of DRR but also within the scientific and technical communities developing the solutions to humanitarian emergencies, to a side event entitled 'Science & Tech for Addressing Gender Inequality of Disaster Risk' where Daniel Seymour (Deputy Director of UN Women) moderated a wide ranging discussion on the important issue of a change of discourse. One that sees women and girls as agents for change and active participants in DRR policy and practice and doesn't reduce women and girls to the stereotype of victims.

Breaking News: A new platform

As a direct outcome of the Side Event: Science and Technology for Addressing Gender Inequality of Disaster Risk, and the hard work put in by many colleagues from GDN, Public Health England, UN Women, UNISDR, UNESCO and the University of Geneva (see full list below), agreement was reached to launch a platform tasked with the promotion of women and girls in DRR science, technology and practice. The platform will be supported and developed in conjunction with UNISDR, UNESCO and UN Women and will seek to partner with networks such as GDN and others.

We are anxious to begin the process of making the idea of the platform, a reality. If anyone has any comments, questions or offers of help with this exciting development, please contact Kevin directly on He will then share with the rest of the Platform organising team and report back to GDN.

See the Concept Note: Science and Technology for Addressing Gender Inequality of Disaster Risk

Members of the organising team:
• Blerta Aliko - UN Women
• Danielle Bicknell - UNESCO
• Kevin Blanchard - Public Health England / GDN
• Jennifer Breslin - UN Women
• Saniye Gulser Corat - UNESCO
• Maureen Fordham - GDN
• Leah Kimber - University of Geneva
• Alexandros Makarigakis - UNESCO
• Marianne Olesen - UN Women
• Cheney Shreve - GDN
• Virginia Murray - Public Health England
• Chadia Wannous - UNISDR


18 December 2015 - International Migrants Day

Start with the UN page [here] and then look back at the BRIDGE Five reasons why gender matters for migrants' rights [here]

Congratulations to all our colleagues, partners and members who have been working tirelessly for a gendered and just climate change agreement in Paris

Go to 'Women and Gender Constituency Position Paper on the 2015 New Climate Agreement'

or download
'a Gender Responsive National Communications Toolkit developed by UNDP'

like the FaceBook page of Climate Wise Women


read 'A Reality Check on the Paris Agreement from the Women and Gender Constituency (WGC) 12 December 2015'

New Gender and Disaster Taskforce website in Australia

In 2015, the first Australian 'Gender and Disaster Taskforce' was established. It is Co-Chaired by the Emergency Management Commissioner, Craig Lapsley and the Executive Officer of Women's Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE), Susie Reid, and has representatives from Women's Health In the North and all major Victorian ESOs, the community, government and academic sectors. The taskforce has the purpose of 'providing state-wide strategic direction and leadership to reduce the compounding effects of gender on disaster impacts' and has seven specific objectives.

This work is bringing a gender-focus to disaster policy, planning, training and practice, in order to improve the support that men and women receive before and after disaster, mitigate risks to men and women's health and wellbeing post-disaster, and build awareness of the critical need for attention to gender in disaster planning and community recovery.
Find the website here:

And look out for the Gender & Disaster Pod

Climate change is about much more than climate change
Climate change is about...women

Democracy Center

Promotional video for the Democracy Center photo project 'Climate Change is About...Women'. Includes testimonies from representatives of the Departmental Association of Women Farmers (ADEMUC), Peru

GDN in Japan - The World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction 14-18 March 2015 Sendai, Japan

The Gender and Disaster Network was at the World Conference World on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan 14-18 March 2015 (see the Conference Website) where we had a booth, a poster display, and a public event with the Japan Women's Network for Disaster Risk Reduction.

GDN in Japan - View our WCDRR page here


Launching the first of a new GDN series: Doing Gender and Disaster. First issue: Women's Voices

Download the first issue here

This first issue of Doing Gender & Disaster focuses on good practices in New Zealand following the Earthquake Sequence in 2010 and 2011 in Canterbury, New Zealand. Women’s Voices/Ngā Reo O Ngā Wahine was developed by the Christchurch Branch of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) because media reports focused on earthquake victims and male rescue crews, army officers, police, fire-fighters, local and national politicians. NCWNZ used the efforts of many volunteer interviewers to create a digital archive of women’s earthquake stories and a number of reports and presentations. Policy-related documents are currently being prepared.

Guest Editors: Rosemary Du Plessis, Judith Sutherland, Liz Gordon and Helen Gibson

See the new GDN page for Doing Gender & Disaster

A Japanese Women's Perspective on Disaster Risk Reduction

This document relates the history and some of the experiences of the Japan Women's Network for Disaster Risk Reduction, especially in response to the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. Link here. Download here.

GDN in Geneva at the Preparatory Committee, second session

GDN was part of the Women's Major Group at the Preparatory Committee, second session, in Geneva (17-18 November 2014). The group, some of whom are shown in the photograph below, worked hard to influence the wording of the Zero Draft and to gain support from Member States.

Women's Major Group

You can hear (and see) the Women's Major Group statement here. Official documents from the Preparatory Committee, second session,
17-18 November 2014 are located here

UN Women - World Survey on the Role of Women in Development 2014: Gender Equality and Sustainable Development

UN Women World SurveyClimate change has tremendous social, economic and environmental consequences. Its effects are being felt in floods, droughts, and devastated landscapes and livelihoods. Women and girls are among the most affected by these changes, given the precariousness of their livelihoods, and because they bear the burden of securing shelter, food, water and fuel, while facing constraints on their access to land and natural resources. As the global community grapples with the challenges of charting trajectories to sustainable development and in defining the Sustainable Development Goals, the World Survey 2014 emphasizes the centrality of gender equality to this endeavour. Download | Link to website


Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity from the World Bank

"Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity" World Bank 2014

The key findings of the report include:
• girls with little or no education are far more likely to be married as children, suffer domestic violence, live in poverty, and lack a say over household spending or their own health care than better-educated peers, which harms them, their children, and communities;
• across 18 of the 20 countries with the highest prevalence of child marriage, girls with no education were up to six times more likely to marry than girls with high school education;
• enhanced agency—the ability to make decisions and act on them—is a key reason why children of better educated women are less likely to be stunted: educated mothers have greater autonomy in making decisions and more power to act for their children's benefit.

Klugman, Jeni; Hanmer, Lucia; Twigg, Sarah; Hasan, Tazeen; McCleary-Sills, Jennifer; Santamaria, Julieth. 2014. Voice and Agency : Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Washington, DC: World Bank Group. © World Bank. | Link | Download |

World Bank Declines to Adopt a Mandatory Gender Policy - Gender Action Review

Source: Gender Review and Recommendations on the:
World Bank Environmental and Social Framework: Setting Standards for Sustainable Development (First Draft) by Elaine Zuckerman September 2014 | Link |

Gender Action reports that the World Bank's first Draft Environmental and Social Framework updating the Bank's two decades-old Safeguard Policies is disappointing because its proposed Environmental and Social Standards (ESSs) do not include a freestanding mandatory gender standard, and the Draft does not "mainstream" gender issues despite inputs from Civil society promoting these.

Gender Action is dedicated to promoting gender justice and women's rights in all International Financial Institution (IFI) investments such as those of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Gender Action's goal is to ensure that women and men equally participate in and benefit from all IFI investments.

Ebola's gendered impacts

Source: PassBlue: Ebola's Treacherous Claw Reaches Women the Most by Sierra Ortega on Sep 23, 2014

Ebola, Sierra Leone, pregnant woman

The United Nations has been almost the sole international body to ring any alarm bells about the disproportionate effect of the Ebola disease outbreak on women and children, where it has found that up to 75 percent of reported cases are women and approximately 2.5 million children under 5 years old live in Ebola-affected areas. The disease is centered in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with very low numbers of isolated cases located in Nigeria and Senegal, all in West Africa.

Humanitarian workers attribute the disproportionately high numbers of women affected to their traditional role as caregivers, noting that they are more likely to care for sick family members — cooking and serving food, cleaning the sick and washing their clothes — putting them at heightened risk for infection. More...

Who Are We?

The Gender and Disaster Network started in 1997 as an educational project initiated by women and men interested in gender relations in disaster contexts. We are the first web presence to advocate for gender mainstreaming in disaster risk reduction using the World Wide Web.Read more

What We Do

The GDN Community Mailing List
GDN members share the latest information and resources on gender, drr and related issues through a mailing list hosted by Preventionweb. To subscribe to the LISTSERV, please register online:

The Gender and Disaster SourcebookGender and Disaster Sourcebook
The GDN hosts and maintains the Gender and Disaster and Disaster Sourcebook, a one-stop user-friendly electronic guide to help answer the question: "What is the link between gender equality and disaster risk?"

The Gender and Disaster Network Knowledgebase
A repository of many resources available to download in the GDN Knowledgebase.

The Mary Fran Myers AwardMary Fran Myers
The Mary Fran Myers Award was so-named in order to recognize her sustained efforts to launch a worldwide network among disaster professionals, for advancing women’s careers and for promoting research on gender issues in disaster research in emergency management and higher education. Go here for the latest awardee.

Go here to nominate someone for the 2016 award.


The GDN Website

The GDN website is a continuing work in progress. Thanks to support from USAID/OFDA, USDA, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), UNISDR PreventionWeb, Northumbria University, School of the Built and Natural Environment and our many volunteers, we are expanding the GDN and making it more dynamic. We have many plans, some of which can be enacted now, others will have to wait for further sponsorship. Please visit In the Pipeline to see a description of some of the ideas we have for the future.

Get Involved

The GDN remains a space populated by its members and welcomes contributions of relevant materials/events/announcements for publication in the website and suggestions to improve the Network.

GDN is seeking partners and supporters to further its advocacy in gendering disaster risk reduction. Please email us at: gdnEmail us at gdn at to explore potential collaborations.

GDN Regional hubs

See what we are planning for GDN in the world regions.

Newest Regional Hub: Africa



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Visit our Supporters Page to see who is supporting GDN

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Gender and Disaster Sourcebook

Click the icon to visit the Gender and Disaster Sourcebook




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Includes published and unpublished reports, papers, conference proceedings

Guidelines, manuals, checklists and good practices on DRR and related themes

Regional or country-specific case studies/research on gender and disaster

Useful external sites, posters, statements, powerpoint presentations on gender and disaster.