CARE Rapid Gender Analysis: An analysis of gender equality and social inclusion among flood-affected communities in Attapeu Province, Lao PDR (4 October 2018, Version 1)


Executive Summary

Tropical Storm Son Tinh, which hit Lao PDR on 18-19 July 2018, led to an overflow of water from the construction site at the Xepien-Xenamnoy hydropower dam on 23 July 2018, causing a flash flood through 13 villages downstream in Attapeu Province. The Government declared the affected areas a National Disaster Area. CARE is undertaking a rapid gender equality and social inclusion (GESI) analysis in Attapeu to provide information and recommendations about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, boys and girls including people with a disability and ethnic minority groups. Very little primary data was available for this report due to a lack of access to the affected locations, lack of current information on the situation and recovery efforts, and a lack of sex, age and disability disaggregated data. However, secondary data and insights by humanitarian partners provide evidence that while both women and men are traumatised, depressed and bored, they are facing different vulnerabilities in the aftermath of the flooding.

Key recommendations

  1. Collect and share gender, ethnicity and disability information: All humanitarian partners should collect and share sex, age and disability disaggregated data.

  2. Design accessible communication and outreach activities: To engage people who are illiterate, don’t speak Lao Loum language, and have disabilities: 1) use local translators; 2) avoid written communications; and 3) actively reach out to women and people with a disability.

  3. Women Friendly Spaces should involve ethnic minority women volunteers; engage men in some activities; use spaces that are physically accessible for women with disabilities; and include aspects of cultural preservation.

  4. Include formal and informal support and response structures in GBV activities. Include traditional mediators in GBV training. The GBV referral pathway should include both formal and informal support structures.

  5. Mitigate against human trafficking risks by regulating the flow of people in and out of camps and informing women, men and adolescent girls and boys and children about the risks of human trafficking.

  6. Provide targeted interventions to keep older girls in school. Provide parents with information on the benefits of education for girls via Women Friendly Spaces. Seek opportunities to incentivise keeping children in school.

  7. Make accessibility improvements for people with disabilities. Basic modifications must be made to infrastructure in temporary camps to give access to people with disabilities. Accessible WASH infrastructure may need to be built, including latrines and bathing spaces.

  8. Engage ethnic minority health volunteers to increase ethnic minority people’s use of health services, especially for SRMHR services.

  9. Extend opportunities to both women and men. Relief and recovery activities should be offered to both women and men, rather than engaging people based on their traditional gender roles.

  10. Take a ‘Building Back Better’ approach that improves the lives of female-headed households and people with disabilities. Rather than simply aiming to return these groups to the position of disadvantage that they experienced before the crisis, a ‘building back better’ approach should provide additional support.

  11. Create opportunities for cultural preservation. Recreational activities organised with camp residents could align with traditional festivals and be led by displaced people themselves.