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Why are gender and social inclusion important in disaster response and protection activities?

  • During disasters, women, girls, boys and men face a broad range of protection challenges which can affect them differently. Protection refers to the prevention of, and response to exploitation, abuse, violence and injury to others.
  • Vanuatu has shown trends of sharp increases in domestic violence cases following disasters with reports showing up to 300% increases in cases.
  • All people have the right to safety and freedom from exploitation and abuse, so it is important to make sure that everyone, including vulnerable people are protected from harm. Vulnerable people may include women and men, girls and boys, people with disabilities and older people. It all depends on their personal, family and community circumstances. And importantly this is not static – vulnerability can and does change over time in different emergencies.
  • Twelve percent of people in Vanuatu have a disability. People with disabilities face increased challenges and incidence of inclusion challenges and are often targets of increased violence.
  • Understanding the needs and challenges of vulnerable people, involving them in disaster response and targeting them for protection measures helps the whole community recover faster from disasters and build resilience.
  • It’s important to capture the voice of the affected communities in all our response efforts; women, girls and other vulnerable groups have information, perspectives, knowledge and skills to share. They are not simply victims.

For all these reasons and more, it’s important that there is a focus on gender and protection in all emergency responses and across all sectors.

Included in this resource kit is a collection of resources that responders will find useful when deploying to the field. Please note however these are generic resources and should be supplemented with more specific and specialist material as necessary and as determined by particular roles and terms of reference.

Who is this kit for?

This Pack is a pre-deployment briefing pack and is designed specifically for use by anyone being deployed by the Gender and Protection Cluster. However noting that gender and protection is a cross cutting issue many of the resources and information in this pack may be useful to any of the other clusters, members or agencies who are deploying to a disaster affected location across Vanuatu.

Why is this kit important? This kit provides for the minimum gender and protection standards, guidelines and information about how one should conduct themselves and their activities while on deployment. This is important for ensuring risk minimisation, prevention, referral, protection and response mechanisms are adhered to in a consistent way and that no one is left out of the loop when it comes to providing response activities with a gender and protection centred focus.