3.3.6 Gender and protection

Gender issues need to be mainstreamed into food security. Men, women, girls and boys  are affected differently by emergencies, and have different access to markets, finances and resources, including food and livelihood resources. Not having a comprehensive understanding of the target group’s gender roles around household food security may cause interventions to fail. For guidelines on mainstreaming gender considerations in food security projects, refer to Annex 23.19 Women, girls, boys & men: Different needs-equal opportunities. See also Gender.

Access to food in a food-insecure environment is a key source of power, and always carries a risk of power being abused. All food security programmes must put in place strategies to prevent and respond to sexual exploitations and abuse. For example, ensuring a gender balance among field staff and food distribution teams should be an initial priority to reduce this risk. There should also be a strong focus to ensure functional accountability mechanisms are established. For more guidance, see Chapter 33 Prevention and response to sexual exploitation and abuse.