Women's participation and leadership in the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (RP21)
There are 495 million women in the Americas and the Caribbean region. Their active participation and leadership in disaster risk reduction is essential to build resilience for all.
Women are not just victims of disasters, they have a vital role to play in building resilience and managing risk as well as in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. Women are often first responders when disaster strikes, supporting the needs of their families and communities and coping with the adverse impact on their livelihoods. They are innovative creators and inventors of viable and sustainable solutions to the adverse effects of disaster and climate risk.
The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 outlines the inclusive, all-of-society approach that must be taken to reduce disaster risk. It recognizes women's indispensable role in risk reduction efforts and emphasizes the distinct gender-specific capacities and vulnerabilities to prevent, prepare, confront, and recover from disasters.
UNDRR is committed to supporting women’s leadership in disaster risk reduction, and women's active participation and leadership in the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (RP) in the Americas and the Caribbean is essential for achieving a disaster resilient world by 2030.
In keeping with our commitments towards delivering the Sendai Framework in an inclusive and gender-responsive manner, and our efforts to promote and support the visibility and role of women in the VII Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean sessions, UNDRR will:
• Support discussions on gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout the organization process by the RP2021 Advisory Council and organizing teams of the different sessions.
• Ensure session organizers achieve gender parity across all RP2021 sessions and events.
• Encourage women to take active leading and speaking roles throughout the VII Regional Platform discussions, be it in formal sessions as a (co)chairs, (keynote) speakers, moderators, facilitators or discussants from the floor.
• Hold a Side Event on Women's Entrepreneurship & DRR as part of the formal program of the VII Regional Platform.
Women’s equal participation and leadership in public life, including disaster risk reduction, is both an important goal in itself and essential for reducing disaster risk and achieving a broad range of sustainable development goals.
Women’s participation in decision-making is enshrined in international human rights frameworks including the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, yet there is still great disparity in the number of women playing a leadership role in disaster risk management.
Furthermore, UNGA resolution A/RES/70/204 adopted in February 2016 recognizes the importance of mainstreaming a gender perspective in disaster risk management to strengthen the resilience of communities and reduce social vulnerabilities to disasters, and the need for an inclusive participation and contribution of women in all fora and processes related to disaster risk reduction (DRR). The Resolution also encourages Governments to promote women's full, equal and effective participation and leadership in the design, management, resourcing and implementation of gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction policies, plans and programmes.
The UN Secretary-General's 2016 Report on the Implementation of the Sendai Framework (A/71/230) similarly recognizes the importance of empowering women to participate in gender-sensitive disaster risk reduction policies, plans and programmes and requests to address the gender inequality of risk and promote community resilience by actively engaging women as agents of change in disaster risk management.
The Government of Jamaica, UNDRR, CDEMA and members of the RP2021 Advisory Council are working to integrate gender equality and women’s empowerment in the organization of all sessions of the RP21, and call upon our partners and stakeholders to ensure gender parity in participation across all sessions.
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