The members of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) strive for a world in which everyone’s rights are fulfilled, everyone is treated fairly and with dignity, everyone has equal access to opportunities, everyone can participate in making decisions for their own lives, everyone’s voices are heard, and everyone is safe from harm.
We can only achieve these goals, ensure we “do no harm” and remain true to our Fundamental Principles, if we put gender and diversity inclusion front and center of our work. Failing this would mean not reaching those that need our help, becoming irrelevant to the communities we serve, and risking contributing to vulnerabilities or worsening power imbalances and cycles of violence. To be effective, our work must pursue equality of power, opportunities and access to resources and services for women, men, boys, girls and people with any sexual orientation, gender-identity, expression and characteristic, of all ages, abilities and backgrounds.
By advancing gender equality and building on the self-determined priorities, capacities and resources of all individuals and their communities, the IFRC can contribute to empowerment, self-sufficiency, fair treatment, and sustainable development, including contributing towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We will embrace diversity not only for fairness sake, but as core to finding better solutions for humanitarian and development challenges.
We will also hold ourselves accountable for making our organizations, and the IFRC as a whole, inclusive and accessible, diverse and representative of the communities with whom we work. The purpose of this policy, which replaces the IFRC Gender Policy (1999), is to ensure a dynamic approach that promotes the inclusion of gender and diversity as the foundation for all our actions, in particular in our institutional arrangements, our operations and programme cycles, and our humanitarian diplomacy. Implementation will require more than technical steps; it will require resources and a real transformation of our traditional power structures, institutional cultures and behavior. We are committed to make that transformation happen.
This policy applies to all National Societies and the IFRC in all aspects of our work. It sets out our collective understandings and commitments to gender, diversity and inclusion. Specific strategies, frameworks and tools shall be developed to support its implementation.