When crisis occurs, people’s lives change in an instant. Death, injury, displacement and the destruction of infrastructure and institutions affect entire communities as a result.
Crises affect women, girls, boys and men of all ages differently. During crises, such as conflict or disasters, women often endure extreme hardships, such as increased violence and insecurity, restricted mobility and additional care, domestic and livelihood responsibilities and their unique needs are often forgotten or ignored.
As a result, their needs and interests differ, as do their resources, capacities and coping strategies. Women are often the first to respond to a crisis and they play a central role in the survival and resilience of families and communities.
Women and girls are not helpless victims. Humanitarian efforts must recognise the fact that women and girls – like boys and men – have much to contribute in preparing for, and responding to, crises. Women must be included in decision making about the forms of assistance and protection they need. Humanitarian action can also present opportunities for new and more progressive gender roles and relationships to emerge.
UN Women is committed to ensuring equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of humanitarian action, working proactively with other UN organisations to ensure:
- Emergency response plans adequately integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment;
- Women and girls are equally consulted in humanitarian action to understand and adequately address their needs;
- Women’s leadership is leveraged;
- Gender is integrated into humanitarian assessments, reporting and monitoring tools; and
- Gender experts are included in the humanitarian teams responding to the crisis
Rapid gender analysis of Ukraine: Secondary data review
The Rapid gender analysis seeks to draw attention to the gender dynamics in the war in Ukraine—both preexisting and emerging—and draws out recommendations for humanitarian leadership, actors and donors to ensure consideration of the gendered dimensions of risk, vulnerability and capabilities in response and preparedness to this crisis.
Gender alert I: Women’s rights in Afghanistan: Where are we now?
In the first “gender alert” since the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August 2021, UN Women brings gender data and analyses on the impact of the rapidly evolving context on women’s rights in Afghanistan.
Women’s Resilience to Disasters Programme in the Pacific
This brief describes the Women’s Resilience to Disasters programme, which proposes a comprehensive package to strengthen the resilience of women and girls with the goal of ensuring that the lives and livelihoods of women and girls are resilient to disasters and threats, contributing to sustainable, secure, and thriving communities.
Humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction: 2020 annual report
This report details key results UN Women achieved in 2020 in collaboration with partners. A reflection of UN Women’s commitment to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in humanitarian and disaster contexts, these results also underscore the need for greater investment from stakeholders to meet the needs of women and girls in all their diversity and support their capacities as agents of change.
All forms of violence against women increase during disasters and displacement.
In emergencies, women and girls face a significantly increased risk for unwanted pregnancy, gender-based violence, STIs and maternal mortality.
Every day, 507 women and adolescent girls die from pregnancy and childbirth complications in emergency settings.
Disasters such as droughts, floods and storms kill more women than men due to structural gender inequalities.