New Gender Alert highlights the need to ensure leadership roles for women in post-earthquake Nepal


After a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April and a second major quake rattled the country on 12 May, over 8 million people have been affected in 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts, with over 8,600 deaths and over 14,000 injuries (estimates as of 18 May).

According to a new Gender Alert on the crisis, the participation and leadership of women and girls in the assessment, planning and implementation of the humanitarian and early recovery response is crucial to ensuring the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are identified and addressed. To this end, UN Women facilitated a meeting with national women’s groups and civil society was days after the earthquake. Participants reported difficulties for women and girls in accessing humanitarian services in the face of already existing discrimination and gender inequality and issued a “Common Charter of Women’s Demands for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Humanitarian Response”, which was published in the local press in English and Nepali.

Produced by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Reference Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action, which UN Women co-chairs, the alert emphasizes the need to ensure that all those involved in the humanitarian response and coordinating bodies gather and use sex- and age-disaggregated data. It also provides detailed recommendations for gender-responsive action on healthcare, shelter, non-food items, camp management, participation and leadership, protection, food security and livelihoods, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene.

UN Women – together with IFRC and the Women’s Refugee Commission – is a co-chair of the IASC Reference Group which is made up of UN and non-UN agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations and promotes the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment in global humanitarian efforts.

Read the full Gender Alert here: Humanitarian Crisis in Nepal, Gender Alert: May 2015

Find out more about UN Women’s response to the situation in Nepal here.