A Handbook for Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action

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The Inter-Agency Standing Committee, created by the United Nations for a more effective response to disasters, is working on this handbook that brings practical guidance on identifying and addressing the differing needs and situations of men, women, boys, and girls during humanitarian crises. Each of these groups has different needs, faces different threats, and has different skills. By ensuring that assistance is properly targeted will help reduce waste and harm; thereby improving the effectiveness of humanitarian response. The handbook’s aim is to provide field workers with the tools necessary to analyze disaster situations from a gender perspective, implementing activities and measuring effectiveness. It is divided in three sections: the first clarifies various terms and explains the relevance of gender issues and equality in crisis situations; the second covers issues of protection and human rights, participation and coordination; and finally, the third section provides sector specific guidelines for areas of work. The handbook is currently in draft format, and is undergoing field consultation. It was sent to the IASC for endorsement in November of last year. The current version can be downloaded in PDF format from WHO’s website at www.who.int/disasters.

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