Integrating Gender in Disaster Management in Small Island Developing States: A Guide

23 Jul 2013


The Caribbean and the Pacific share common characteristics of island regions — small land mass, limited economies of scale, small populations, remoteness and inaccessibility, and lack of economic diversification — and represent a diversity of languages, cultures and histories. Both regions are highly vulnerable to natural disasters; this vulnerability is now greater due to an increase in extreme weather events such as drought, heavy rains, hurricanes and sea level warming and rise due to climate change and human activity on the ecosystem.


This guide outlines the vulnerability of SIDS in the Pacific and the Caribbean and explains how gender roles and responsibilities result in differential exposure and impact of disasters. Putting on a “gender lens” means analyzing what men and women do in their daily lives, looking at how they interact and what specific needs arise out of this.

It is intended to provide national disaster management personnel working in the SIDS with a tool to strengthen their practice; it is not intended to be exhaustive and should be considered as an aid to complement pre-existing knowledge. It provides an overview and should help practitioners identify and integrate gender into their decision-making and actions on the ground in every phase of disaster risk management.

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