Institutionalizing Gender in Emergencies: Case study of Pakistan

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Pakistan faces frequent natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods, cyclones, drought and tsunami, and there is ongoing conflict and military operations in the northwest of the country (in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the territory of FATA). In general terms, Pakistan is characterized by very low human development and a very large number of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

This is combined with one of the highest levels of gender inequality in the world.

In Pakistan, the sociological data in reports and presentations in most cases fails to record differences in survey responses by age and sex (known as sex- and age-disaggregated data (SADD)), and is characterized by limited or missing gender and social analysis. What scarce evidence is available suggests that the differential needs and capacities of affected populations in disasters are not sufficiently addressed.


Globally, good policies and international standards on gender in emergencies do exist. However, the implementation of humanitarian assistance with a strong gender perspective remains ad hoc, and there is limited accountability of implementing agencies.

This project: Institutionalizing Gender in Emergencies: Bridging Policy and Practice was designed to explore how to better institutionalize gender-related standards in humanitarian assistance. The project was developed from an analysis of policy and practice both at a global level and at country level. The project was piloted in four countries:
Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Sudan and the Dominican Republic from September 2015 to March 2017.

The project in these four countries focused on the following issues in which significant gaps were identified:

• Insufficient gender analysis and evidence to inform humanitarian response planning and practice;

• Low technical capacity in gender in emergencies across sectors and organizations;

• A lack of coordination on gender across different agencies to support sector programmes;

• Lack of accountability for implementation of gender-related standards within organizations and across the humanitarian system.