Manuals, Toolkits and Guidance

Women, Girls, Boys and Men – Different needs, equal opportunities. IASC Gender Handbook in Humanitarian Action

Publication year:


English, Arabic


pdf (3.3 MiB)


IASC, Inter-Agency Standing Committee

In the rush to provide humanitarian response when a disaster hits or a conflict erupts, the appeal to “pay attention to gender issues” often falls on deaf ears and may seem irrelevant. It is not. “Paying attention to gender issues” or putting on a ”gender lens” quite simply means recognizing the different needs, capacities and contributions of women, girls, boys and men. Ignoring or being blind to these different needs can have serious implications for the protection and survival of people caught up in humanitarian crises. This Handbook sets forth standards for the integration of gender issues from the outset of a new complex emergency or disaster, so that humanitarian services provided neither exacerbate nor inadvertently put people at risk; reach their target audience; and have maximum positive impact. The target audience for this Handbook is field practitioners responding to humanitarian emergencies that result from conflict or natural hazards. In particular, the Handbook targets sector/cluster actors. Humanitarian Coordinators and others in leadership positions will also benefit from this tool as it provides guidance on how to analyse the situation from a gender perspective, implement gender-aware activities and measure effectiveness. The Handbook will also assist donors to hold humanitarian actors accountable for integrating gender perspectives and promoting equality in all aspects of their work.

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