Sustainable Development Banner

Gender and emergency situations

Gender issues play an important role in ensuring food security in emergencies.

Emergencies affect women and girls differently from men and boys. In situations of armed conflicts, civil strife, or natural disasters, women often lose the capacity to sustain their families’ livelihoods due to loss of seeds, livestock and tools. In addition, conflict situations considerably increase the trauma of gender-specific physical insecurity for women and girls. 

Supplying seeds for next year's crop after an emergency

It is essential to understand the specific roles/responsibilities of men and women in agriculture and their main constraints/needs, as well as their ability to carry out their activities under emergency situations and early rehabilitation.  Women are often more vulnerable in emergencies due to their lower social and economic status. A gender analysis helps to clarify what the specific needs, vulnerabilities and coping strategies of women and men are so that they can be more adequately addressed in response to an emergency situation.

News Section

Women in War theme for CAP Launch 2001
FAO is one of the key players in the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) which outlines the priority needs of each emergency and defines the key roles that each agency will play in meeting these needs. Ensuring that a gender perspective is integrated is reflected by the CAP's Women in War theme.
UN Security Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

Links to FAO documents 

Socio-Economic and Gender Analysis in Emergency Operations Summary
Gender in Emergency Reference
Study on the impact of armed conflict on the nutritional situation of children

Links to Websites 

FAO links
Special Relief Operations
FAO's Special Relief Operations Service (TCOR) focuses on emergency situations by assessing the needs and organizing agricultural assistance.
FAO's Global Information and Early Warning System for Food and Agriculture (GIEWS) monitors food supply and demand around the world.
The Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) monitors the globe for signs of emerging threats from pests and epidemics.
SD Dimensions 
FAO's Sustainable Development Department designs policies, strategies and methodologies to foster the active participation of rural people - men and women - in agriculture and rural development.
Inter-Agency links
WomenWatch: The UN Internet Gateway on the Advancement and Empowerment of Women
The United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women
United Nations Development Fund for Women
World Food Programme and Gender
UN Economic and Social Development: General Information on Women
Gender and Disaster Network (GDN)
The World Bank Group: African Region on Gender
Other NGO work on Gender and Emergency