7. Gender in Emergencies Do’s and Don’ts


  • Target actions based on the gender analysis. Design services to meet the different needs of women, men, boys and girls.
  • Make sure that women, men, boys and girls have equal access to services.
  • Make sure that women, men, boys and girls can participate equally in response activities.
  • Train women and men equally.
  • Use programmes to help prevent SGBV.
  • When you collect, analyse and report on information, break down the data by sex and age.
  • Coordinate actions with all partners.
  • If you can’t get quantitative information in the first hours of a response, record the sex and age of key informants who are providing you with information on the situation, and aim for a broad spread of informants. Other sources could include available programming information, census data, health statistics and household survey data. The result would be a broad snapshot of differences.

Critical indicators Checklist

  • CARE teams are gender balanced and each emergency team has someone focusing on gender.
  • You analyse how the crisis affects women, men, boys and girls differently.
  • You collect data from women, men, boys and girls.
  • The data from women is collected by women.
  • You adapt activities to meet everyone’s specific needs.
  • The data you use to measure effectiveness is broken down by sex and age.
  • You monitor intended and unintended effects of the response on women and men.
  • Women and men participate equally in decision-making.
  • You have a responsive, safe, and equally accessible accountability mechanism in place.
  • Proposals and reports include specific gender plans, goals, indicators and progress.
  • You consider women’s and men’s different needs and capacities in project plans and resources.
  • Staff and partners are accountable to gender equality goals.
  • You work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse and provide medical, legal and economic support to survivors.
  • You have an SGBV referrals system that integrates SGBV issues into the entire response.



  • Forget that women, men, boys and girls are all at risk of rape and SEA. Men and boys are often victims of SGBV in conflicts.
  • Favour men in livelihood programmes. This could further impoverish women.
  • Fail to consider gender in all sectors of the response—e.g. poor camp design can increase the risks of SGBV, and distribution programmes can create opportunities for SEA.
  • Forget that at the start of your emergency response, the gender analysis will not be perfect, so you may need to adapt your strategy and project design as your analysis improves.