3. HOW to integrate gender into an emergency response?

Gender Analysis

Gender Analysis is the systematic attempt to identify key issues contributing to gender inequalities, many of which also contribute to poor programming outcomes. It asks:


1. How will gender relations affect the achievement of sustainable programme results?

2. How will the proposed results affect the relative status of men and women?

CARE has a number of tools and processes to help teams integrate gender effectively into their humanitarian work. These include:

  1. Rapid gender analysis
  2. Gender mainstreaming and gender specific programming
  3. Women’s participation and leadership
  4. Gender and MEAL

1. Rapid gender analysis: rapid gender analysis (RGA) provides information about the different needs, capacities, and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls in a crisis situation. It does this in part by examining the relationships between women, men, boys and girls. An RGA is built up progressively, and provides an initial but incomplete analysis of gender relations in an emergency.

The five steps of an RGA are:

  1. Find existing gender information
  2. Collect new gender information
  3. Analyse the gender information
  4. Make practical recommendations
  5. Share and update the RGA report

TOOL: The CARE Rapid Gender Analysis Toolkit provides detailed guidance on the five simple steps to conduct a RGA. The CARE RGA links to more in-depth Gender and Power Analysis using the CARE Good Practice Framework.

2. Gender mainstreaming: integrating gender throughout all steps of the humanitarian cycle helps to ensure that adequate and efficient service and assistance is provided, with due attention to users’ safety, dignity and equal access. Tools and guidance are available to help guide this process:

Minimum commitments for Gender and Diversity: CARE has adopted and adapted the work of the Global WASH Cluster WASH Minimum Commitments for the Safety and Dignity of Affected People as the primary approach to mainstreaming gender and diversity into its core humanitarian sectors. Minimum Commitments are people-centred commitments that aim at improving the quality and efficiency of response programmes, and at ensuring that key issues such as gender, gender based violence, child protection, disability, and age are taken into consideration by all partners. It also helps to reinforce the accountability of WASH interventions to the affected population.

This work is already available for WASH, and is under development for Food Security and Livelihoods, and Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Gender action plan: the gender action plan (GAP) helps to prepare and plan for a gender-sensitive response. The GAP sets out how to use the gender analysis to inform the design of a response, ensuring that different groups are getting the support they need. Preparing a GAP is a mandatory requirement in emergency preparedness, response strategy, and funding processes. Some donors also require a GAP.

TOOL: The CARE GAP guidance note gives more details on how to use the GAP at various points, including during the EPP, at the beginning of a response, and during a response review.

Mainstreaming gender is also inclusive of undertaking gender specific programming that aims to address the specific and particular disadvantages in humanitarian situations that arise out of historical discrimination.

Standalone programming to respond to and address Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Emergencies (GBViE) is a key example of gender specific programming. GBV is deeply rooted in, and perpetuated by, gender inequality. In an emergency GBV is exacerbated, and vulnerabilities and risk increase. Preventing and responding to GBViE is a life-saving activity that requires a prioritised response which can include mainstreaming addressing GBV throughout all humanitarian response sectors, and often specific programming dedicated to GBV response and mitigation.

3.Women’s participation and leadership: gender equality in humanitarian programming is most effectively achieved if women and girls actively participate, and are empowered to decide how to participate, in the decisions being made on how to meet their needs.

In light of this, ensure that women’s participation in decision-making is integrated throughout the entire programme, and into all project process. This includes the provision of:

  • Transparent information on the response processes and decisions made
  • Meaningful opportunities to be involved in decision-making at various stages through the response
  • Safe and reliable mechanisms for receiving, managing, and responding to all forms of feedback
  • Opportunities to promote women’s and girl’s leadership roles

Pay particular attention to ensuring that participation is equally and meaningfully accessible to those from different genders and age groups, and to those with disabilities.

Further supporting information can be sought through the CARE Governance wiki, and the Core Humanitarian Standard Guidance Note.

4. Gender and monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL) systems: incorporating gender into MEAL provides the opportunity to understand, learn from, and respond to the changing gendered realities and experiences in the response. Some major elements to consider include:

Analyse sex- and age-disaggregated data: in order to understand the different needs of women, men, boys and girls, collect, monitor and use sex-and-age-disaggregated (SADD) data, as well as data on other relevant factors such as ethnicity, religion and disability.

Identify, monitor, and respond to gendered issues: it is important to check in on how the situation is changing for different sex and age groups, not just for our target groups. Integrating gender into MEAL requires building gender reflection into monitoring, and includes regular checks to understand and respond to issues such as: changing protection risks and needs, unintended consequences, and changing gender roles and relations.

Use the CARE Gender Marker: the CARE Gender Marker is a self-assessment tool that measures the integration of gender into programming along a scale of 0–4, placing work along the CARE Gender Continuum. Using this tool can support learning and reflection, and help to increase the effectiveness and gender equity of our work. This can be used at multiple stages throughout programming.

TOOL: The CARE Gender Marker and associated guidance provides detailed information on how to apply the tool.