Gender issues affect all areas of disaster management, from vulnerability reduction to relief, and rehabilitation to development. Disasters and conflicts impact men and women differently; they will have different needs, vulnerabilities, priorities and capacities. A gendered perspective in disaster management will help to ensure that these differences are recognized and equally addressed throughout. Only when all members of society are engaged and considered can disaster management be effective to reduce vulnerability and promote development.
Understanding the different situations facing men and women in conflict and disaster will contribute to more effective post disaster and post conflict programming. Improving inclusive governance that promotes gender equality will reduce vulnerability of populations to disaster. Recognizing the different needs and priorities of men and women in shelter and provision of basic services in post conflict/post disaster situations will help governments and aid/development agencies design programmes that respond to the needs of all, while promoting gender equality and human development for both men and women.
DMP/UN-HABITAT has extensive experience in developing gender analyses and mainstreaming strategies in post-disaster scenarios. Recent DMP activities include finalizing a gender situation analysis of northern Iraq, Toolkit for mainstreaming gender in UN-HABITAT field programmes based on the Kosovo experience, and training of trainers to train local leaders in the role of gender in effective municipal governance in Somalia. An ongoing Gender Review of Disaster Management in Africa is being undertaken jointly between DMP/UN-HABITAT and ISDR to examine the extent to which gender issues have been integrated into disaster management policies and practices in Africa. Finally, all of the work of the DMP/UN-HABITAT reflects the commitment of the agency to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women