on 13th October 2018

As storms and extreme disasters ravage the world, women and girls are among the most impacted

13 October 2018, Tunis. Today, on the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction and the closing of the Africa-Arab Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction, it is vital to bring the most vulnerable into the spotlight: women and girls. The impacts of disaster and climate change discriminate: women, men, girls and boys are all affected differently. It is women and girls who are more likely to suffer due to existing inequalities, vulnerabilities and negative gender norms which lead to higher rates of mortality, morbidity and economic damage to their livelihoods. It is imperative that disaster risk reduction and management strategies are gender-responsive and consider gender-based vulnerabilities.

“As we celebrate this year’s International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, there is a need for deliberate efforts to move from policy to practice. We cannot ignore the differentiated impacts of disaster on women, girls, men and boys. Our responses must be better informed by sex-, age- and disability-disaggregated data, gender analysis and active community engagement for accurate and effective disaster risk reduction and resilience building interventions,“ says Zebib Kavuma, Director, UN Women Kenya.

While women and girls are suffering disproportionately, they also bring unique experiences and skills to disaster risk reduction and climate change as active agents of change. It is essential to recognize women’s contributions to disaster risk reduction and their leadership as first responders; their central role in community resilience is largely untapped in disaster risk reduction, climate change and resilience building strategies.

“By integrating women into the center of policymaking, we ensure that half of the population is given a seat at the table, leaving no one behind. Major improvements in the access to climate and disaster risk reduction political spaces for women need to occur at all levels to demonstrate that gender is not only a buzzword but that it has genuinely transformed the role of women in the policy debate,” says Martin Secaira, CARE Nederland’s Global Policy lead on Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, Partners for Resilience.

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact: Camilla Schramek, Climate Change Communications Officer for CARE International cschramek@careclimatechange.org or +45 50 22 92 88


CARE International is a leading humanitarian organisation fighting global poverty and delivering lifesaving assistance in emergencies. In more than 90 countries around the world, CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women to equip them with the proper resources to lift their families and communities out of poverty. 

Partners for Resilience (PfR) is an alliance of over sixty civil society organisations, from the humanitarian, development and environmental field, who have been working for several years on Integrated Risk Management (IRM) to build community resilience. Our organisations have been working as Partners for Resilience, supported by five Netherlands-based organisations: the Netherlands Red Cross, Cordaid, CARE Netherlands, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and Wetlands International.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. UN Women supports Member States set global standards on gender equality and make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for women and girls and stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on four strategic priorities in; leadership and participation, all women and girls live a life free from all forms of violence and women and girls contribute to and have greater influence in building sustainable peace and resilience, and benefit equally from the prevention of natural disasters and conflicts and humanitarian action. To learn more about UN Women, please visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en

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