Natural disasters, such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Sulawesi in late September 2018, are discriminatory events affecting women, men, girls and boys differently. Drawing on precrisis information, this Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) of the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami finds that women and girls are likely to be placed at particular risk due to their increased workload and caring responsibilities. Liquefaction and destruction of food gardens deprive women of family food but also of their main source of livelihood. Girls and women are also likely to face secondary gendered risks that result from the disaster and the humanitarian response, including increased domestic violence, sexual harassment, abuse and exploitation.
Adolescent girls are particularly exposed to sexual exploitation and to early marriage in an attempt to secure additional resources or to reduce the number in the household who need resources. Inequalities at home may also expose women to particular risks of food insecurity, eating least and last when food becomes scarce. The specific responsibilities of women and adolescent girls mean that they are likely to be more isolated from sources of support, including services, and reliant on their husbands and male family members for important information about and access to the assistance and services available. Women’s reduced control over resources and the collapse of their income-generating opportunities through displacement mean an acute tension in trying to fulfil their domestic responsibilities. The lack of safety and privacy in both sanitation and shelter is a critical issue for attention. Femaleheaded households and widows require particular attention: with less bargaining power, scarce financial resources to purchase essential goods and deprived of the required skills to rebuild their shelters, they are often at increased risk of exploitation.
Key Overarching Recommendations:
Design the humanitarian response to ensure the following:
At all stages of the response, ensure the team is composed of women and men. The inclusion of female staff facilitates consultations with women and adolescent girls and, therefore, supports their expression of their needs, priorities and concerns and their access to assistance.
Ensure that both women and men are consulted about their priority needs, concerns, preferred distribution mechanisms and access to vulnerable groups.
Assess men and women’s differential access to aid. Identify factors regarding safety to mitigate against risks of genderbased violence (GBV).
Pay particular attention to the situation of female-headed households, pregnant and lactating women, older people, people with disabilities, and of the women who care for them.