Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction
The programme on disaster preparedness and prevention emphasizes the needs and roles of women in building a culture of disaster resilience.
As is well documented, vulnerability and poverty are closely aligned with gender equality, and women therefore are more frequently victims of natural disasters than are men. However, mainstreaming gender considerations into disaster preparedness and education contributes significantly to reducing disaster impacts and improving sustainable development. The programme ensures mainstreaming of gender equality in disaster risk reduction efforts at different levels. It aims at increasing number of women in designing policies and strategies to reduce vulnerability to disasters, in capacity building, in mainstreaming of education for disaster risk reduction into educational curricula and public awareness programmes, and advocacy for disaster preparedness and prevention. Efforts are aimed to ensure more gender-balanced representation within international and regional networks of experts on earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides as well as hydro-hazards.
The programme explores how gender perspective can be better integrated in policy guidelines for disaster risk reduction with an emphasis on education, and policies can be promoted with particular attention to the key role of women as community leaders in disaster preparedness awareness programmes.
In the Field
UNESCO empowers women to reduce their vulnerability to disaster through its Myanmar Education Recovery Programme.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the programme provides disaster risk reduction in education training to education personnel. Most of the training participants are female teachers responsible for the care of children in the basic education sector.
A series of training modules have been developed, together with Information, Education and Communication materials. These include a set of nine posters on disaster awareness and an activity book for children and the community. Importantly, Module 5 contains information on the vulnerability of women in times of disaster, with suggestions on how to incorporate gender issues into disaster risk reduction.