Urgent Call for Action - Gender Inequalities Persist in Emergency Response and Disaster Management

Tomorrow, May 11th, the Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will debate on Humanitarian Help.

Gender Concerns International sent out an urgent call to the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Internal Affairs addressing the persisting gender inequalities in the distribution of emergency response and disaster management efforts, in February 2023.

It is time for the Dutch government to play a vital role in leading the discussion about including and providing space for international women organisations to participate in emergency response, crisis management and rehabilitation efforts, in accordance with Dutch Feminist Foreign Policy.

In tomorrow’s debate, we urge the Committee on Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation to emphasize the role and struggles of women in humanitarian aid.

When natural disasters strike, women and girls tend to experience disproportionate challenges and heightened risks. They are often viewed as the silent victims who need assistance and are best suited to play the role of caregivers and service providers. Women are impacted by the lack of post-disaster women’s early needs assessment and absence of a resource-equipped engagement of national and international women organisations in rescue and rehabilitation efforts.

As shown in the second image, where disaster impacts and gender inequality overlap, gender differentiated impacts happen. These can deepen inequality and make communities less resilient to future disasters.

Since the earthquake in Pakistan in 2005, Gender Concerns International has been addressing this inequality in emergency response efforts. While more light has been shed on the issue since then, significant steps are still to be taken.