Women, Girls, Boys and Men - Different Needs, Equal Opportunities
Why a gender handbook for humanitarian action?
In the rush to provide humanitarian response when a
disaster hits or a conflict erupts, the appeal to “pay attention to
gender issues” often falls on deaf ears and may seem irrelevant. It is
not. “Paying attention to gender issues” or putting on a ”gender
lens” quite simply means recognizing the different needs, capacities and
contributions of women, girls, boys and men. Ignoring or being blind to
these different needs can have serious implications for the protection and
survival of people caught up in humanitarian crises.
This Handbook sets forth standards for the
integration of gender issues from the outset of a new complex emergency or
disaster, so that humanitarian services provided neither exacerbate nor
inadvertently put people at risk; reach their target audience; and have
maximum positive impact.
Who is the target audience of this handbook?
The target audience for this Handbook is field
practitioners responding to humanitarian emergencies that result from
conflict or natural hazards. In particular, the Handbook targets
sector/cluster actors. Humanitarian Coordinators and others in leadership
positions will also benefit from this tool as it provides guidance on how
to analyse the situation from a gender perspective, implement gender-aware
activities and measure effectiveness. The Handbook will also assist donors
to hold humanitarian actors accountable for integrating gender
perspectives and promoting equality in all aspects of their work.
How is the handbook structured?
The Handbook is divided into two sections: A:
Fundamental Principles and B: Areas of Work. Section A should be studied
by all readers and used in combination with the specific sector chapters
in Section B.
Provides sector- and
cluster-specific guidance. The IASC Clusters at Headquarters have prepared
these chapters as a practical tool for ensuring that gender equality
programming is undertaken and monitored in each sector at field level.
Each chapter is divided
A brief overview of gender issues related to the sector;
A series of questions on what to look for or ask so that programmes are designed and implemented with sensitivity to
the different needs of women, girls, boys and men;
Specific actions to ensure gender equality programming; and
A checklist for monitoring gender
For any comments or suggestions for the improvement of this handbook,
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