CBi Workstream

Gender and Disaster

Disasters themselves do not discriminate but their impact does, whether it originates from natural hazards or a conflict. While disasters affect women, men, boys and girls differently, women often face risk factors and barriers to recovery that are created by the structures of the society rather than just the hazards themselves. This means that gender inequalities in society translate into increased vulnerability to the impacts of disasters, heightened exposure, and restricted capacity to respond and recover, while women are also widely excluded from decision-making affecting their lives and businesses.  

The significant connections with the private sector mean it has the potential to play a leading role in improving the situation, providing assistance targeted to women, and at the same time pursuing its business interests through better preparedness, response and recovery. Women are also overrepresented in economic sectors hit hardest by disasters. The exclusion of women from decision-making processes, the impact of unpaid care work and gender-based violence (both of which tend to rise in disasters) on the comparatively high rate of job losses that affect women in the aftermath of disasters and on the survival and recovery of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) run by women are as well essential facts to consider.  

COVID-19 is a key concern also for the private sector and disaster management. The devastating effects the pandemic is having on gender equality means the time to act on gender for private sector disaster management is now. If approached correctly by the private sector and other actors that support public-private cooperation, this situation also presents a window of opportunity for understanding the connections between gender, the private sector and disaster management. 

CBi is developing materials to assist the private sector in these efforts. These materials can be found centralized in this web page. More resources are to come in the next months! 

To learn more about CBi’s gender work and partnering opportunities, please reach out to CBi Gender Specialist consultant: maria.kontro@undp.org  

Head photo credit: VBRC

Key Publications

Online Resources and Knowledge Hubs


International days for gender and disaster