Making Gender Equality a Reality

  • Date: 20/06/2019
  • Author: Jo-Ann Ward

ActionAid Ireland is pleased to attend the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment Side-Event; ‘Making Gender Equality a Reality: from standards to transformation’ in Geneva next week. The event is organised by the IASC Reference Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action, UN OCHA, UN Women, Irish Aid, and ActionAid.

The event will focus on the empowerment and protection of women and girls following a humanitarian disaster. Women and girls are particularly vulnerable in humanitarian situations and their needs are often overlooked. They are also essential contributors in emergency response, in many ways including their local knowledge and networks. The event will include contributions from local women leaders and first responders, which ActionAid Ireland welcomes.

Triona Pender, Head of Programme’s for ActionAid Ireland, will be attending the event. She said:

“I am pleased to see this event happening, as it brings the voices of women from developing countries and provides clear recommendations for how we can better address power imbalances in the humanitarian system. It would be great to see these recommendations being taken up at global meetings in the future. And of course, being matched with resources for women’s organisations that are responding on the ground.”

ActionAid Report

The event follows the recent publication of an ActionAid guidance report ‘Making the Local-Global,’ which calls for women leaders to be at the heart of humanitarian work.
This is because women are commonly the first responders in an emergency. And are most active in prevention and rebuilding after disasters. They should, therefore, be directly involved in shaping the programmes and policies that affect their lives, families, and communities.

Enabling local women’s leadership in humanitarian action also prevents costly mistakes that put women’s and girls’ directly in harm’s way. The humanitarian community can begin to rectify the injustices experienced by women in gender-blind humanitarian actions.

ActionAid has long advocated for women’s leadership of humanitarian interventions. Women’s actions and leadership too often go unrecognised by institutions of all kinds. They play minimal roles in coordination mechanisms set up to respond to emergencies, if they are even invited to take part.

You can read the full report here.

Photograph Credit: Dewi, one of several female medical volunteers, checks the blood pressure of Syamsul 75 who wasn’t able to walk following the 2018 earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia. Taken by: Andri Tambunan/ActionAid

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