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Strengthening mainstreaming of gender in disaster preparedness, relief, and reconstruction: Non-discrimination lens Ranjani K.Murthy, Independent Researcher.

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Presentation on theme: "Strengthening mainstreaming of gender in disaster preparedness, relief, and reconstruction: Non-discrimination lens Ranjani K.Murthy, Independent Researcher."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strengthening mainstreaming of gender in disaster preparedness, relief, and reconstruction: Non-discrimination lens Ranjani K.Murthy, Independent Researcher Jesu Rathinam Christy, SNEHA

2 Objectives To set out a conceptual framework on gender, gender mainstreaming, and non discrimination in the context of disaster To review the strengths and weaknesses of government policies in mainstreaming gender in disaster preparedness, relief, and reconstruction To draw out lessons from what has worked, and what has not To draw recommendations for strengthening gender mainstreaming in government responses

3 Premises on gender Gender relations refer to unequal power relations between men and women, Closely tied with other social relations and institutions, Gender relations also refer to power relations between women and between men where gender has a role to play, Women occupy a secondary position vis-a-vis men, but at times men also disadvantaged by masculinities, Recent attention to (inter-sex and) transgenders as subordinate groups

4 Gender mainstreaming Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the action of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies and programmes, in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making womens as well as mens concerns and experiences an integral dimension of the planning, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality (UNESC, 1997) Our focus will be on marginalised women and men

5 Approaches to mainstreaming gender Rao and Kelleher Infrastructural Organisational Institutional Jahan: Integrationist Agenda setting

6 Gender discrimination Article 2, CEDAW (1981): Any distinction- exclusion or restriction- international or unintentional- made on the basis of sex is discrimination

7 Gender discrimination in disaster: in what? Self esteem Participation Bodily integrity Livelihood compensation/ security Housing, health, education Ex-gratia Access to food, nutrition, clothing, hygiene kit relief Survival

8 Forms of gender discrimination in the context of disaster Sex specific forms (e.g. ignoring sanitary pads, vaginal fungus, clotting of breasts) and where gender mainly operates (e.g. girl dropping out for additional reproductive work) Pre existing forms (e.g. inequalities in food) and new forms of discrimination in the context of disaster. New forms: survival, relief, ex- gratia, resurfacing of child marriage Forms specific to particular disasters (e.g. water related- whom to save) vs. forms common to all disasters (e.g ex-gratia to MHH). Forms and intensity varying with socio economic, political and cultural context (e.g. son preference, purdah varies, compulsion to marry husbands borther) and common forms of discrimination (e.g. workload of women). Exclusion form of discrimination (from ex gratia, from education) vs. unwanted inclusion form in disaster (into girl child labour, into commercial sexual exploitation) (Adapted Murthy and Sagayam, 2005)

9 Sources of gender discrimination: in the context of disaster Socio-cultural and policy induced discrimination Identities (see diagram- 3 categories) Household, community markets, state, inter-state Other individual Identities of women : abilities, class, age, martial status, HIV status, education, citizenship, location, occupation, violence, age Community identities of women and girls: Caste, race, religion, ethnicity, language Gender identity- women as a group

10 What does gender mainstreaming then mean in disaster preparedness, relief and reconstruction? 1: Map existing forms and sources of gender discrimination in each context (3 categories) while making disaster preparedness plans 2: Look out for new forms of discrimination arising in the context of the particular disaster 3: Address strategic gender interests of women and girls in relief, reconstruction and protection, in addition to meeting PGNs 4.Address strategic interests arising out of other identities 5.Address practical gender needs of men and boys as well 6.Involve community based womens organisations of marginalised groups in preparedness, relief and reconstruction planning, and pressing for accountability in implementation. 7. Evolve gender specific indicators for base line data, monitoring and evaluation

11 Government policies to address PGNs and SGIs Preparedness- Mapping of vulnerable groups before disaster- (Dominican Republic) -Early warning through health workers and extension workers rather than radio/TV (Philippines) -Proposal to set up disaster watchdog committees with women representatives and PRI heads (India) Relief- Supply of sanitary towels (Thailand, Philippines) - Rations to women rather than men, after initial months* (TN- tsunami) Ex-gratiaDeposits on orphans names, matures when eighteen (India) Shelter-Community washing machines in some camps (Honduras, El Savador) -- Houses with space for food storage, cattle (Maharashtra earthquake) -Prioritisation of women headed households in toilet repair (Bam, Iran) - Joint title deeds on house (TN, India) - Training of women in male tasks in construction (Maharashtra, India) Health and education - Assistance to tsunami single parent children for education till high school (India-tsunami) - Recanalisation operation (India- post tsunami) - Nutritional supplements for pregnant women - Reopening schools and nutrition centers within a month (India-tsunami) Assistance to unmarried young women who have lost parents to be used for education (above 18, TN)

12 Government policies to address PGNs and SGIs Livelihood/securit y Government procuring crafts (Turkey) Pregnant women to avail benefits of food for work without working (Ethiopia, with SC) Cash transfers to utlra poor, including WHH (Ethiopia), elderly tsunami widows (India) Compensation for livestock lost (India-tsunami)? Participation-Women intermediaries to facilitate shelter (Maharashtra) - Formation of women's committees around water management (Ethiopia) - separate meetings with women and men identified important issues around sanitation; (Sudan) - Revitalisation of womens groups to demand accountability on progress on reconstruction (Maharashtra earthquake, India) -Establishment of women and child spaces with local government (Turkey, Maharashtra India) -- Making Gram Sabhas in earthquake zones accountable (Maharasthra, India) Bodliy integrityHomes for unmarried young women (India-tsunami) Girls exclusive orphanages (India-tsunami) Short stay homes for women HH with children (Indonesia) Village violence protection committees (TN paper- India) Tracking of orphans and semi orphans in particular girls (TN and A and N) Self esteemAssistance for marriages that have stopped (India-tsunami)

13 Other gender specific policies Govts social/gender audit immediately after Hurricane Mitch to assess differentiated impact (Nicaragua) Govts social/gender audit 6 months afterwards to assess who was included and excluded from relief (Nicaragua) Government and womens groups coming together to arrive at a plan for disaster relief and reconstruction (El Savador) Tsunami resource center – gender focal point (India-tsunami)

14 Factors that facilitated good practices Earlier progress in gender Legislation/structure (India) Govt. top level familiarity with gender (India) Donor commitment to gender Womens Community groups 33% reservation (India-earthquake) Strong womens movement (India, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines) Govt-NGO joint plan (El Savador), joint review (India)

15 Limitations of government policies Womens productive role and productive assets rarely recognised Reproductive assets and social assets not compensated for – grinders, mixers, washing machines, jewels Undervaluation of womens work and role: greater compensation when HH dies than other adults. Household as nuclear (male HH, without adults, polygamous relation, unwed mothers-Latin America) Strategic gender interests of women not recognised (e.g. violence redressal, decision making – India, Sri Lanka, El Savador) Practical gender needs of men not recognised like de-addiction, child care - single fathers Sex specific needs of adolescent girls ignored, breast feeding women whose infants had died. Women assumed to be uniform (other than widows)- diversity due to other individual and community identities ignored. Invisibility of villages where no loss of life was reported (TN, India), earthquake vs. tsunami (A and N) Well meaning policies backfired- increase in tsunami marriages, abandoned husbands came back to claim ex gratia and went off, recanalisation and complications

16 Limitations of govt. policies and practices Policies: Opportunities for decreasing inequalities between men and women missed, as well as between different un-equal groups Disaster bill-India no mention of gender concerns in disaster management (other than special provision for widows), National/State/District Disaster Authority or Executive Committee no provision of representatives of DWCD or womens rights NGOs (India) Practice Calculation of GDP losses did not estimate loss of womens productive work, extra time into reproductive and community work, as well as loss of womens reproductive and social assets (all over) State itself unleashed gender based violence- (Army in Sri Lanka) The practice of locating different services in different places not convenient in camps for WHH (Somalia-drought)

17 Reasons for gaps Little attention to institutional gender/equity mainstreaming before disaster Little attention to strengthening gender infrastructure for mainstreaming in a disaster context Gender and equity unaccountable organisational structure Not agenda-setting mainstreaming.

18 Strategies for strengthening gender mainstreaming in government preparedness, relief and reconstruction Enabling pre-disaster policy condition: Rights to livelihood and resources Gender aware property laws – any asset joint after marriage Violence legislation, Women in grass roots decision making Gender/equity aware disaster bills and plans, and gender advocacy groups in authority structures Enabling organisational/gender infrastructure: Increasing proportion of women staff in health, education, child care/gender training Creation of pool of gender and disaster experts within bureaucracy Gender, sectors and disaster manuals for government staff (different levels, contexts) Gender and disaster planning tools, monitoring indicators (different levels, contexts) Gender/equity aware disaster budget Accountability structures to women Enabling environment: Survival skills- women and girls Women in labour force and breaking gender division of tasks Womens grassroots organisation and women in producers groups and unions Women in traditional/indegeneous decision making institutions Radio, TV and media messages on gender

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