In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. UN Women, grounded in the vision of equality enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, works for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security.
Placing women’s rights at the centre of all its efforts, UN Women leads and coordinates the efforts of the United Nations system to ensure that commitments on gender equality and gender mainstreaming translate into action throughout the world. It provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Member States’ priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with civil society and other relevant actors.
The main roles of UN Women are:
- To support inter-governmental bodies, such as the Commission on the Status of Women, in their formulation of policies, global standards and norms;
- To help Member States to implement these standards, standing ready to provide suitable technical and financial support to those countries that request it, and to forge effective partnerships with civil society;
- To hold the UN system accountable for its own commitments on gender equality, including regular monitoring of system-wide progress.
Disaster Reduction Goal
Through its focus on prevention and resilience building, UN Women ensures that new and existing disaster risks are mitigated by putting women at the center of disaster risk reduction, by giving them a voice, empowering them as disaster risk reduction leaders and actors, and by building their resilience.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience Portfolio
UN Women promotes gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and resilience building through technical and policy support, provision of gender expertise to disaster risk reduction mechanisms and processes, and by implementing programmes and projects for gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and resilience building, including the Global Programme on Women’s Resilience to Disasters and the Gender Inequality of Risk Programme.
Strengthening Women’s Disaster Resilience in Small Island Developing States proposes a comprehensive package for women’s resilience that focuses on rendering prevention, preparedness and response systems, plans and tools gender-responsive and provides targeted action enabling women and girls to withstand natural hazards, recover fully from disasters and increase their resilience to future natural hazards.
Programme in Support of a Gender Responsive Sendai Framework Implementation: Addressing the Gender Inequality of Risk and Promoting Community Resilience to Natural Hazards in a Changing Climate (GIR) provides a mechanism to support countries operationalize and achieve the commitments for gender sensitive implementation of the Sendai Framework.
In 2018, UN Women worked in 39 countries around 4 thematic areas:
(1) understanding, assessing and increasing the awareness on the gender dimensions of disaster risk;
(2) ensuring the gender-responsiveness of DRR and resilience policies, tools, strategies, and budgets;
(3) increasing women’s capacity to prevent, prepare for and recover from disasters through targeted action such as increasing women’s access to disaster resilient livelihoods, social protection and disaster compensation; and
(4) strengthening women’s participation and leadership in DRR and resilience.
As part of UN Women’s policy work with national and local authorities, UN partners and local civil society, including women’s groups, over 77 million people in 16 countries were reached through gender-responsive DRR and resilience policies, strategies, plans, needs assessment and coordination mechanisms.
Over the year, 8 additional countries supported by UN Women appointed gender focal points in their respective national disaster platforms, enhancing the voice of women in the design, implementation and monitoring of national DRR and resilience policies, plans and programmes.
In addition, 90,907 women and girls and 13,809 men and boys in 21 countries directly benefitted from UN Women’s services to enhance their resilience against disasters and facilitate their participation and leadership in the development of DRR and resilience strategies and programmes. This included building the technical capacity of women to engage in decision making processes in the formulation of national DRR and resilience policies that identify and address the needs of at-risk women and girls, promoting women’s leadership and empowerment in disaster risk reduction and resilience, and strengthening the disaster resilience of women and girls through alternative, sustainable livelihoods.
UN Women’s engagement at GP 2019 and WRC4
In May 2019, UN Women is contributing to two important global events on disaster risk reduction and resilience, the Fourth Edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) and the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP) in Geneva, ensuring the gender-responsiveness of the processes and outcomes.
The Fourth Edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC4) 13-14 May 2019
Technical Session: Addressing the Inequality of Risk and Promoting Women’s Leadership in Recovery
This session will introduce recent initiatives to promote women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction, resilience, recovery and peacebuilding, and share good practices on the integration of gender dimensions in risk analysis and the design of effective disaster and conflict recovery and peacebuilding interventions. UN Women is co-organizing this session alongside with UN Environment, UNDP and UNICEF.
WHEN: 14 May 2019 11-12:30
WHERE: Room 3, CICG
Technical Session: How can disaggregated data support inclusion?
UN Women alongside with UNICEF and UNFPA is co-organizing this session with aims to promote the inclusion and leadership of marginalized groups in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and reconstruction initiatives through the promotion of the collection, analysis and usage of disaggregated data.
WHEN: 14 May 2019 14:00-15:30
WHERE: Room 18, CICG
The Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction 15-17 May 2019
Special Session: Women Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction
UN Women is a member of the organizing team for the session alongside with Indigenous women group, DRR Dynamics, WEDO, Fundacion Humania, ActionAid International, Disaster Reduction and Resilience Solutions, Huairou Commission, Care Netherland, International Climate Change, UN Spider, Mercy CORPS EUROPE and UNDRR.
WHEN: 15 May 2019 14:30-16:00
WHERE: Room 4, CICG
Side Event: Using gender, age and disability-responsive data to empower those left furthest behind: How to do it, why it’s fundamental to effective DRR.
This session will provide practical guidance on collecting disaggregated data, demonstrate how using such data offers a more effective response and how it can encourage greater leadership and participation from women, girls and other marginalized groups, provide information.
WHEN: 16 May 2019 9:00-10:30
WHERE: Room Geneva, CCV
Membership in Key Networks
- UN DRR focal points group
- Core group for the UN Common Guidance on Resilience
- Core group on the PDNA
- Core group on the UN PoA for DRR
- Youth and Children Words into Action guideline core group
- The Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI) (Advisory partner)
Disaster Reduction Focal Point(s)
- Dr. Rahel Steinbach, Programme Specialist,
Humanitarian Action and Crises Response Office in Geneva, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: + 41 022 917 2558
- Toshihisa Nakamura, Programme Analyst, Humanitarian Action and Crises Response Office in Geneva, email@example.com, Tel: +41 0229 171 856
220 East 42nd Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue), New York, NY 10017 10065 New York United States of America
GP 2013 delegation
Conferences: - UNISDR Science and Technology Conference
- 2017 Global Platform
- AMCDRR 2016