Gender analysis into the humanitarian response

A woman holding a Palestinian flag A woman holding a Palestinian flag © Anne Paq/

This article is a brief presentation of the CARE report on the implementation of gender analysis into the humanitarian response

This report was conducted by the international humanitarian organization CARE in collaboration with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). This work is part of the efforts to ensure the implementation of gender analysis within the 2021 Humanitarian Programme Cycle (HPC) process. The objective of this research is to synthesise gender analysis reports from the occupied Palestinian territory in order to help HPC actors to better integrate gender analysis.

The relevance of this report derives from the need to analyse the different impacts on women, girls, men, boys and people of different gender identities during the humanitarian crisis. Through in-depth analysis, which identifies the needs, capacities and priorities of the different genders, the response of humanitarian action can incorporate appropriate recommendations covering all those in need.

Although considerable progress has been made towards the integration of gender analysis, the more sector-specific and cross-cutting aspect could still be improved, as most gender analysis has continued to focus on traditional areas associated with women's issues such as gender-based violence.

Gender inequalities are widespread in the occupied Palestinian territories due to traditional gender norms that restrict freedom of movement, decision-making power, access to health, education, other basic services, and resources. In addition, socially and economically disadvantaged women, young people and marginalised populations, such as people living with disabilities, suffer even greater discrimination.

The 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overviews estimated that some 2.4 million Palestinians (50.3% female, 49.7% male) would be in need of humanitarian assistance this year as they continued facing high rates of poverty and limited access to essential services. The response to both the humanitarian crisis and COVID-19 becomes increasingly complex in addition to existing and persistent gender inequalities. In addition to limited access to humanitarian aid in communities, women's participation and involvement in setting priorities and finding solutions seems to be limited. Evidence shows that women and girls face additional challenges following the COVID-19 crisis, regardless of country or context, for what concerns the division of domestic labour, unpaid care work, limited mobility and increasing levels of domestic violence. In recent years, initiatives by Palestinian women's rights groups have continued the civil and political commitment of women in the country. However, progress still needs to be made to eradicate the attitudes of a patriarchal society built around gender roles.

Overall, recommendations from CARE include the continuation to disaggregate all information and data analysis by both gender and age throughout the Humanitarian Programme Cycle process. There is a need to increase efforts to plan and implement activities that address the root causes of gender inequality as a key component of interventions in the occupied Palestinian territories. More progress could also be made by incorporating higher targets and more funding for national women's rights organisations and programmes run directly by women into the Humanitarian Response Plan process.

Other solutions could be found in reviewing other intervention projects to better respond to gender inequalities.  Finally, it is important to promote investments as essential actions to save lives in humanitarian responses, considering the need for representative staff and/or gender-sensitive technical capacity.


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Author: Carla Pintor

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