Gender Equality Shapes Recovery Recovery Shapes Gender Equality

This video is part of a broader collaboration with UNDP, which will give voice to seven individuals from seven different corners of the planet who will speak on the following seven priorities identified by UNDP on gender and recovery :

1-Ending and preventing GBV and ensuring women’s security in crisis

2-Ensuring women’s access to justice, security and human rights

3-Promoting women as leaders and decision-makers for social change as well as promoting women’s organizations

4-Supporting women’s access to and control of resources and services

5-Sustaining peace with, by and for women

6-Ensuring gender equality is at the core of disaster risk reduction and recovery

7-Transforming governments to deliver for women


Women are often on the frontline of crises, playing key roles in the well-being of their families and communities, and rebuilding their societies. In some cases, women-headed households comprise the majority of those remaining in affected territories. In other cases they are the first to return. 

In the immediate aftermath of crises, a gender-responsive approach that empowers women and girls while addressing gender inequalities is crucial to effective recovery.

Although most humanitarian and development actors are using a gender approach in their interventions, women’s and girls’ specific needs and priorities are still not fully addressed and duly funded, and their participation in recovery processes is still unacceptably low.

Including a gender perspective as a core element to rebuilding a society means faster recovery and sustainable development in post-conflict and disaster settings. Addressing gender inequalities and empowering women in the aftermath of a crises bring the following benefits:


Better access to justice and protection of human rights

Employing women at the frontlines of service delivery and at the highest levels of policy influence can create more gender responsive justice systems that recognize different needs and promote equal opportunities. Women’s participation can create a more trusted and legitimate security apparatus by inviting a diversity of skills and competencies.

For example, increasing the number of female police officers correlates positively with an increase in reporting of sexual violence.  


Accelerated economic recovery

Conflict-affected communities that experienced the most rapid economic recoveries and poverty reduction were those in which women reported higher levels of empowerment.

For example, women’s traditional role in many societies as managers of natural resources means that targeting female food producers--alongside legal recognition of their rights to land, housing and property--can lead to positive outcomes for food security.

In addition, women are more likely to spend their incomes on family needs, including health care and education, thus making a proportionately larger contribution to social recovery.


Peaceful and stable societies

In cases where women’s groups were actively involved in peace negotiation processes, agreements were significantly more likely to be reached and implemented. In several fragile and conflict-affected countries women’s rights organizations have recently played vital roles at grassroots levels in mitigating conflict and building peace.


Basic services and infrastructures

Redistribution of power typical of a post-conflict political settlement offers an historic opportunity to increase women’s representation in politics and administration by reshaping long-standing patterns of gender exclusion. While the political settlement is central to peace and state-building, it is the core governance institutions and public administration structures that are both the mechanism for delivering services as well as the strategic vehicle through which the political settlement is executed and cemented.

Merely achieving greater political representation is not enough to improve the status and condition of women, but including women in decision-making processes does reduce gender discrimination and facilitate social and economic cohesion.

The employment of female decision-makers in civil services was identified as more likely to ensure that planning and budgeting processes are gender-responsive, and that the needs and priorities of women and girls are seriously addressed.