Addressing Gender Inequality Amid Conflict: Reports from Northern Ethiopia, 2021


Executive summary

Context and Rationale

The escalating conflict in northern Ethiopia left over 5.2 million people in Tigray Region in dire need of humanitarian assistance, including 2.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). At the time of the assessment, most of the Tigray population (91 percent) were facing crisis levels of food insecurity. The destruction of health facilities, water structures, and schools combined with acritical shortage of food, medicine and other supplies as well as restricted humanitarian access increased the scale of humanitarian needs of all population groups.

The conflict in Northern Ethiopia has affected persons of all genders, ages, and people at-risk and marginalized groups differently. In November 2021, in light of the growing humanitarian needs, the Humanitarian Country Team commissioned an inter-agency-rapid gender analysis (IARGA) to identify the drivers of gender inequality that impacting access to humanitarian services in the three Northern Ethiopia regions affected by conflict (Tigray, Amhara and Afar, plus Oromia region of Southern Ethiopia), and to propose practical actions across the different cluster responses. The IARGA findings, which can be used to inform the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview and Results Plan, are collated through are view of secondary data, and a primary data collection conducted with 95 key informants in the Tigray region from November to December 2021.

Recommendation Highlights

  1. Address food insecurity and nutrition needs urgently and ensure food and non-food items (NFIs) distribution are sensitive to age, gender and ability and that vulnerable groups are prioritized.

  2. Invest in rebuilding health care services, including urgently increasing funding for sexual and reproductive health and rights and mental health services, and reduce barriers for marginalized groups including IDPs to access these services.

  3. Increase safety and security of all vulnerable groups through protection mechanisms, prioritise GBV prevention, mitigation and response measures, and address root causes of gender inequalities.

  4. Involve all population groups in the response, including through stronger collection and use of sex, age, and disability disaggregated data: consult inclusively with vulnerable groups and offer accessible, inclusive feedback mechanisms.


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