Consolidated Gender Analysis for Disaster Response in Pakistan



Pakistan is highly vulnerable to disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, landslides, tsunamis and storms, in large part as a result of climate change. In 2010 monsoon rains resulted in massive floods across most regions of the country, causing the deaths of 20,000 people and affecting another 20 million. Floods in 2011 swept across areas that had still not recovered from the devastating floods a year before. Earthquakes of different levels of severity have also occurred in some parts of the country, which is situated on two major fault lines, making it one of the most earthquake-prone parts of the world. Government operations against militant groups have also caused widespread insecurity.

Humanitarian crises can affect women, men, girls and boys in radically different ways, due to preexisting social, cultural and political structures across the private and public spheres. A gendersensitive humanitarian response is thus crucial to understanding and mitigating the worst effects of crises on different sections of the population. It can also take advantage of the opportunities that crises can present to redefine the statuses and traditional roles of women and men.

This report is based on a literature review and primary data collection conducted by Oxfam in 2016. It forms part of a wider ECHO-funded programme, ‘Institutionalizing Gender in Emergencies: Bridging Policy and Practice in the Humanitarian System’, which aims to enhance coordination and technical leadership in four countries: Pakistan, Ethiopia, South Sudan and the Dominican Republic. This funding was also used to support the establishment of the Gender in Emergencies Working Group in Pakistan, which brings together international and grassroots gender experts from civil society and academia. This working group provides advice to the official gender cluster within the national response architecture.

The gender analysis used for this study is based on primary data from selected disaster-prone districts across Pakistan – Gilgit (Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) region), Naseerabad (Balochistan province),
Tharpakar (Sindh province), Muzaffargarh (Punjab province), Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province) and Muzaffarabad (State of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)) – in addition to secondary data. It covers a range of emergencies that hit Pakistan between 2005 and 2016.

A multiple methods approach including both quantitative and qualitative data collection was used to compile representative data from the six project districts, including a household survey, focus group discussions (FGDs) and in-depth interviews.