When a disaster hits or a conflict erupts, humanitarian actors move quickly to save lives, meet basic needs and protect survivors. In this rush to provide humanitarian response, the appeal to “pay attention to gender issues” often falls on deaf ears and may seem irrelevant. It is not. “Paying attention to gender issues” or putting on a ”gender lens” quite simply means recognizing the different needs, capacities and contributions of women, girls, boys and men. Ignoring or being blind to these different needs can have serious implications for the protection and survival of people caught up in humanitarian crises.
This Handbook sets forth standards for the integration of gender issues from the outset of a new complex emergency or disaster, so that humanitarian services provided neither exacerbate nor inadvertently put people at risk; reach their target audience; and have maximum positive impact.