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
UN Women seeks to support inter-governmental bodies and forums, Member States and other UN Agencies and Entities in serving their respective commitments to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment in the formulation of policies, standards and norms related to disaster risk reduction. It supports implement of these in a gender-responsive way that ensures accountability to, active participation of and sustained results for women, girls, boys and men of all ages that are in risk of and/or are affected by disaster.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
Disaster Risk Reduction is an emerging issue for UN Women and is situated within the context of its mandate for humanitarian action, which includes preparedness, disaster risk reduction, response and early recovery. DRR and resilience building are priorities of UN Women under Pillar 4 of the current strategic plan. Prior to and following the adoption of the Sendai Framework on DRR UN WOMEN have continuously been engaging with national governments to bridge evidence gaps, support gender responsive governance and open channels for the meaningful participation of women in DRR. UN Women has dedicated capacity on DRR, and have established the Crisis Preparedness, Prevention and Response Unit in Geneva which provide corporate leadership on gender and DRR.The UN Women crisis, preparedness and Response unit in Geneva will consolidate and build on the work on gender and DRR already being undertaken by UN Women’s field and regional offices as well as international normative works. The main focus of the Unit is to support DRR actors to implement commitments to gender equality in DRR, preparedness, response and early recovery already committed to by Member States under the Beijing Platform for Action, and the follow-up reviews and appraisals of its implementation, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and related commitments and guidance, agreed Resolution 56/2 ‘Gender equality and the empowerment of women in natural disasters’, its additional resolution 58/2, with further recommendations as well as other normative commitments.
Furthermore, UN Women is focusing on ensuring the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in the implementation of the new United Nations Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) for Resilience, ensuring gender mainstreaming in UN joint DRR efforts, guidelines, assessments and products, for example contributing to ensuring attention to gender mainstreaming in the Word into Action guidelines for implementation of the Sendai Framework, bringing the voices and priorities of women and their organizations to global, regional and national processes on DRR such the for example the Regional and Global Platforms on DRR and the Third World Reconstruction Conference taking place 2017.
UN WOMEN's Support to national DRR actors
Examples of UNWOMEN achievements in 2015 and 2016 through its support to national DRR actors include the following:
The development and adoption of a gender responsive Asia Regional Plan for implementation of Sendai in November 2016, following advocacy UN Women and UNISDR Asia Partnership’s Stakeholder Group of Organizations and Individuals concerned with Gender and Women’s Issues, ensured commitments from member states to clear targets for collection and use of SADD, gender responsive national platforms as well as an accompanying gender guide.
In response to the Super Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, a major earthquake in Nepal, and extensive flooding in Myanmar in 2015, UN WOMEN supported national disaster management bodies and women’s advocates to ensure the disaster response and recovery was shaped by women’s participation and responded to the common and differentiated needs of women, men, boys and girls.
Responding to target E of the Sendai Framework, In Bangladesh, Tajikistan and Kenya, together with partners, UNWOMEN has been supporting the governments to develop gender responsive National Plans and strategies for Disaster Management in line with the Sendai Framework.
In 2015, following advocacy and technical support by UNWOMEN, this led to 42 per cent of intergovernmental outcome documents on humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction included specific gender provisions.
With significant gaps in evidence, capacity and women’s participation related to gender equality in DRR, a scale up of support to member states and gender advocates will ensure effective delivery on gender commitments under the Sendai Framework.
Going forward, to accelerate progress and close gaps between international commitments to gender responsive DRR, as stipulated in Sendai Framework for DRR and their implementation, UN Women, IFRC and UNISDR have joined forces under a Global Programme to Address Gender Inequality of Risk and promote Women’s Leadership and Resilience within the Sendai Framework (GIR). The GIR programme will target the high and unequal risk exposure of women and girls to the impact of climate related natural disasters and the detrimental effect this has on the levels of resilience of themselves as individuals, as well as of their households and their wider communities. The GiR will provide a mechanism to support countries to operationalize and achieve the gender commitments under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, starting with regional and country programmes in Asia-Pacific and Africa and subsequently expanding to other regions.
Specifically the initiative will contribute to ensure that: (1) the gender dimension of risk is understood and assessed; (2) Disaster Risk Management (DRM) policy and Risk governance is gender responsive; (3) women’s capacity to prevent, prepare for and recover from natural hazards in a changing climate is strengthened; and (4) women’s participation and leadership in disaster risk reduction and resilience building is strengthened.
Membership in Key Networks
- UN DRR focal points group
- HLCP Informal Task Team on Risk, Prevention, and Resilience
- Co-chair of IASC Sub-Working Group on Gender and Humanitarian Action
- Gender Based Violence Area of Responsibility
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
- Puk Ovesen, Programme Specialist, Crisis Preparedness and Response unit in Geneva, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: + 41 229 174 353
- Toshihisa Nakamura, Programme Analyst, Humanitarian Unit, email@example.com, Tel: +1 646 781 4639
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