Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

Event: Asia-Pacific Judicial Conference on Climate Change Adjudication: Trends and Impacts

Gender Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction and Management

07 October 2019
Author / Speaker: 
Robyn Layton, Supreme Court of South Australia
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Justice Robyn Layton shared an ADB project that she has been working on with Dr. Mary Picard. This project analyzes the climate change and disaster risk management policies and the green jobs market for women in Fiji, Lao People's Democratic Republic, and Mongolia. It includes the crafting of a good practice gender inclusive legislative framework to strengthen women's resilience to climate change and disaster risk.

Their research showed that climate change and disasters magnify gender inequality and disadvantage. Different gender roles in society and sex discrimination or "gender blindness" in the humanitarian response and recovery operations amplify the varying disaster impacts on men and women. Gender based violence (GBV) incidents, especially domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, increase in times of disasters and sustained stress from climate change.

Women may suffer worse economic impacts from disasters because of the nature of their work. As compared with their male counterparts, women also have fewer options to cope with disaster impacts.

Current international and domestic legal frameworks on climate change and disaster risk management are largely gender-blind.

Justice Layton concluded that a gender inclusive legal framework on climate change and disaster risk management should have the following:

  1. constitutional guarantees for fundamental human rights on gender equality and direct and non-direct discrimination;
  2. informed law and policy makers and implementors, who can understand and mainstream gender analysis for all legislation;
  3. stronger laws that incorporate gender equality and non-discrimination principles, mandated representation of women in decision-making bodies from national to local levels, and use of gender analysis in needs and risk assessments and programme planning;
  4. sex-disaggregated data collection to enable identification of the differing needs of men and women as well as later monitoring and assessment of the effectiveness of the legislation introduced;
  5. stronger laws, institutions and implementation for GBV prevention and support for victims/survivors and access to justice in normal times;
  6. plan for GBV prevention, mitigation and support systems to be in place as a priority element of disaster response and recovery and climate relocation so that there is no delay in implementation; and
  7. effective implementation and monitoring of laws to increase women’s access to decent work and non-discriminatory conditions.
Geographical Focus: 
Regional - Asia
Subregional- Pacific
Type of Content: 
Learning Event

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