the gender and disaster sourcebook

a resource of GDN

Sourcebook Home > Planning And Practice Tools
ICON: Planning And Practice Tools Planning And Practice Tools
> Planning and Policy Frameworks
> Gendered Vulnerability Analysis
> Practice Guides And Checklists
> Discussion and Analysis

What to do? What takes priority? How can change occur? Who decides?

Moving toward more gender-aware and gender equitable approaches to hazards and disasters calls for a fundamental shift in ways of thinking about the social dimensions of disasters and their root causes. Historically, a deeply embedded but unarticulated gender bias has existed toward seeing disasters “ through the eyes of men”—in the field, in the male-dominated spaces where policy decisions are taken and budgets set, in the male-dominated media, and in academic investigations of society and disaster. This large generalization takes different forms in different contexts but cuts across cultures and institutions.

Because the gender dimension has been so long neglected, and women’s experiences in particular so long overlooked or misunderstood, there is a clear need for fresh approaches. Improving field practice one project at a time is essential (and see the section on Good Practices) but not sufficient. Clear policy frameworks and specific practice standards and guidelines are also required and these must be married with measures for ensuring close monitoring and accountability.

There is much room for improvement, but Sourcebook users will find that there are now a number of very significant models for change available, many of which emphasize the need to avoid top-down approaches and empower community women living in risky environments and affected by disasters. This is an important beginning point for the next century if we are to reduce risk and avoidable harm for all peoples.

For the most part, the materials in this section are generic resources suitable for adaptation in a wide range of contexts. Users will certainly note the policy implications of practice guidelines; we make no firm and fast distinction between “policy” and “practice” here. Related materials can be also be found on the websites of the organizations and institutions to which we refer in the Related Resources section.

In this section, users will find international material on:

Regional Table of Contents



Asia/Asia Pacific


Latin America and the Caribbean

North America