Natural disasters, crises and conflicts affect people differently. Diversity and social factors such as, but not limited to, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, health and social status, socio-economic and legal status, ethnicity, language, faith, or other, shape the extent to which people are vulnerable to, affected by, respond to, and recover from crises. In emergencies, people are often subject to threats to their lives, their safety and dignity, discrimination, loss of access to basic services, and other risks. Emergencies accentuate existing gender and diversity inequalities and discriminations. Sexual- and gender-based violence tend to increase.
Protection, Gender, and Inclusion (PGI)
To ensure an effective response that reach the most vulnerable and address the specific needs, capacities and protection risks of women and men of all ages and backgrounds, PGI considerations need to be reflected in the preparedness, mitigation, and response work, from the initial assessment and throughout the program cycle. To remain true to the Fundamental Principles and to uphold the humanitarian principle of humanity and impartiality, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement promote gender equality and diversity at all levels in the organization as well as in the emergency and long-term work. To ensure there is no discrimination based on gender and diversity factors, female and a diversified leadership need to be promoted at all levels, from communities to governance.
PGI helps to make sure that, across all parts of our work:
a) All people can safely access and be included in support;
b) Support is relevant and appropriate for all people;
c) People can participate in the design of services.
If we fail to include PGI, we risk not reaching those that need our help, becoming irrelevant to communities we serve, and even contributing to vulnerabilities or worsening power imbalance and cycles of violence.
How we work/What we do
Creating an enabling environment -building institutional capacity
Swedish Red Cross is supporting its partner National Societies (NS) to become safe and inclusive organizations, ensuring the dignity, access, participation, and safety for people of all identities and backgrounds. This through strengthening the NS institutional capacity, strengthen inclusive structures and mechanisms, ensuring management and leadership ownership, building NS PGI capacity, development of relevant policies and guidelines (including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and safeguarding policies), mainstream PGI in programmes, operations, services, advocacy, and working in partnerships. An important starting point is understanding PGI - knowledge, attitude, behaviours and ownership of the board, managers, staff, and volunteers to avoid doing harm.
PGI in programs and emergency operations – Everyone’s responsibility!
Ensure people’s access to impartial assistance; to protect and include people at risk of harm in all aspects of the programs, emergency preparedness mitigation and response through proper understanding of protection risks and needs based on a sex, age, disability, and diversity analysis. Ensuring dignity, access, participation, safety and the PGI minimum standards, through PGI mainstreaming in the implementation of all programs, operations, and services. Developing relevant, safe, and confidential referral system for protection case management. Ensure a Do-No-Harm perspective, a minimum requirement met through dedicated efforts to avoid or mitigate unintended negative consequences of our work. PGI in long-term programs and activities may be more expansive, addressing issues of social exclusion in a more systemic manner, allowing people to have equal access to resources, opportunities, and rights regardless of who they are. These programs typically focus on a combination of a) promoting changes in attitudes, behaviours and laws that lead to discrimination and exclusion b) ensuring no-one is excluded from full and equitable access to NS’ services and c) supporting the full participation of excluded people in society.
PGI in humanitarian diplomacy and advocacy
PGI gives emphasis to the importance of engaging in humanitarian diplomacy to support people's dignity, access, participation, and safety and ensure that the voices of people with diverse identities are heard and that their specific needs and rights are met. This means a) working to persuade decision-makers and opinion leaders to act, always, in the interests of people in vulnerable situations by protecting their equal rights and ensuring their equal access to humanitarian services, including addressing the specific needs and protection risks of women and men of all ages and diverse backgrounds. b) Ensuring a survivor centered approach to prevent, mitigate, and safely respond to inter-personal violence such as SGBV and SEA. c) Advocating that states and communities promote preventative and preparatory legislation and actions even before incidents are reported. d) To integrate specific attention to PGI issues in disaster laws and policies or practices.
Example of Protection, Gender, and Inclusion interventions
- To improve quality programming, operations, and services to affected populations through PGI mainstreaming, and the Do-No-Harm principles is a focus of the SRC sustainability platform. This is done through enhancement of SRC basic internal capacity and targeted training of all SRC international staff.
- All SRC supported programmes and projects are to be evaluated based on a) a PGI vulnerability analysis, b) targeted, and tailored programme support to particularly vulnerable people; c) protection and risk management, and d) meaningful participation of the target group.
- Provide locks and lighting in toilets and showers in refugee camps to ensure the safety and security.
- Provide girls and women with sanitary items, sanitary pads, and changes of clothes for dignified hygiene management, as well as flashlights for safety, and security.
- Organize activities aimed at children - allowing them to be children despite the difficult situation they may find themselves in.
|Examples of activities SRC do not do: Any case management of Sexual and Gender-based violence (SGBV) survivors (including sexual violence, domestic violence, trafficking, forced/early marriage, forced prostitution, sexual exploitation, and abuse etc.) Survivors are being referred to adequate external services, if available.|
- Around 15% of the total world's population live with a disability (WHO)
- 20% of the world's poorest people live with some kind of disability (WHO)
- 90% of children with disabilities in developing countries do not attend school (UNICEF)
- Children make up more than half of the world’s refugees. Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18: nearly 2 every second (UNICEF)
- 15 % of all pregnancies experience complications during delivery, leading to increase in maternal and child mortality in crises and disasters due to limited access to healthcare (WHO)
- 20% of displaced women (refugees or internally displaced persons) have experienced sexual violence