(Geneva, 10 February, 2022) — UN Women in partnership with the Australian Government has launched the global Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) Knowledge Hub during the UN Disaster Risk Reduction Support Group meeting held today with Member States.
There is rising awareness that disasters affect all genders differently and this is confirmed by recent research by UN Women and UNICEF. Women and girls were found to die in greater numbers and have different and uneven levels of resilience and capacity to recover. For example, 95 per cent of deaths in the Solomon Islands 2014 flash floods were women, 55 per cent of deaths in the 2015 earthquake in Nepal were women, and 59 per cent of those displaced following Cyclone Idai in 2019 in Malawi were women. These findings are confirmed by another study, which highlighted that women are 14 times more likely than men to die during a disaster.
Yet critical gaps remain in our understanding of disaster and climate and risk, in managing the emerging evidence-base, and in the access and uptake of tools for enabling gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and resilience. Until now, information has been spread across different stakeholders, platforms, and programmes.
The Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) Knowledge Hub brings together traditionally separate communities, to share knowledge and good practice. It offers a wealth of resources, to help countries secure gender-responsive disaster risk reduction policy frameworks, processes, and practices – placing women’s leadership centre stage.
“The new Hub meets a real and pressing need for centralized knowledge, resources, good practices, and expertise. Around the world, women and girls are leading the charge on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Their experience is a vital resource for others.” said UN Women’s Executive Director, Sima Bahous. “The Hub consolidates access to critical tools on women’s resilience to disasters and provides a platform for amplifying women’s voices.”
The WRD Knowledge Hub includes a: searchable library of resources and publications; the WRD Policy Tracker identifying national and regional progress engendering policy and planning frameworks; the WRD Toolbox with guidance, training kits, and advocacy material; and the WRD Community of Practice to maximise knowledge exchange through blogs, case studies, webinars, and training supported by experts from the WRD Expert Register.
The WRD Knowledge Hub is a central element of UN Women’s flagship programme – the Women’s Resilience to Disasters (WRD) Programme, which aims to render the lives and livelihoods of women and girls resilient to disasters, including climate-related disasters and health pandemics. The WRD Programme is being implemented in the Pacific thanks to funding from the Australian Government, with momentum growing and sister programmes now being implemented in the Caribbean and Lake Chad Basin.