The Institutionalization of Women’s Leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction

The engagement of women in disaster risk reduction (DRR) is essential, given that structural inequalities leave women disproportionately affected by disasters—they are likelier than men to lose their livelihoods, and even their lives.

Yet despite the disproportional impact of disasters, and despite women’s demonstrated effectiveness in leading DRR initiatives, the mid-term review of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) recognized that women’s empowerment and gender-equitable approaches in DRR has lagged behind other HFA priorities. Moreover, analysis suggests that emphasis on “women’s vulnerability” as opposed to their capacity and leadership, as well as the failure of national governments to act on gender-specific needs during and after disasters, is further entrenching women’s exposure before, during and after disasters.

As long as gender-specific concerns and capacities are omitted from key DRR initiatives—including early warning, contingency planning and longterm recovery—efforts to build and sustain resilience will not succeed.

This roundtable focuses on why women’s leadership is critical to successful DRR, and on the strategic roles that women can play in implementing and monitoring the successor to the HFA. Panelists will share relevant experiences and propose actions to institutionalize
women’s involvement and leadership in planning, implementing and monitoring HFA2 priorities, as well as actions that will accelerate women’s empowerment and public leadership in DRR policy-making, planning and implementation.

See the Brochure for Key Note Speakers and Discussion Panelists.