Protection, Gender and Inclusion in Anticipatory Action

A person’s sex, gender identity, age, physical ability, race, nationality and many other factors can influence how they are vulnerable to, and affected by disasters, conflicts, and crises. They can also affect their abilities to adapt, respond, and recover.

For instance, in disasters, women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men. Disasters also often exacerbate prevailing inequalities, exacerbate dispossession and marginalization. This can be seen in the increase in incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), violence against children and trafficking in human beings during and after emergencies. Gender roles and dynamics also influence who has access to  early warning, as well as early action interventions. Early warning messages are typically less likely to reach women than men, and in most cases are not adapted for children. Lessened access and participation mean that the overall needs and concerns of women, children and other marginalised or vulnerable groups are not taken into account. They have fewer options to prepare and take action to protect themselves and their livelihoods, and build their resilience ahead of emergencies. 

Effective early warnings and anticipatory action systems can support and strengthen the ability of groups facing different risks to mitigate the impacts, better cope with shocks, and address any issues of discrimination. Comprehensive analyses of vulnerabilities, risk factors, and coping strategies can be used to inform protective, gender transformative, and inclusive outcomes. 

  • Protection means addressing violence and keeping people safe from harm.
  • Gender and diversity is about addressing discrimination and understanding people's different needs, risks, and capacities.
  • Inclusion means actively addressing exclusion by meaningfully involving and engaging excluded and hard to reach people in our work.

Early actions should be tailored and prioritised to ensure that we reach all people effectively and in a non-discriminatory and equitable manner. Our work must ensure dignity, access, participation, and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.

Although there is increasing recognition of the importance of integrating protective, gender-transformative, and inclusive approaches in Anticipatory Action, these are not yet consistently applied and typically lack the capacity, resources and monitoring mechanisms to ensure successful prioritisation and implementation. There is a growing need to further embed those dimensions in Anticipatory Action approaches.

The knowledge resources below highlight the recent studies and applications of protective, gender-transformative, and inclusive approaches in Anticipatory Action. 

Upcoming working group

The Anticipation Hub is planning to host a working group co-chaired by UNFPA and IFRC to stimulate further exchange and learning on protection, gender and inclusion in anticipatory action. Please fill out the form below to express your interest in being involved in the preparation and implementation of the working group. 

View the form here

Further information

Women receive dignity kit
September 15, 2021

Mitigating gender-based violence risks: how anticipatory action supports safety and access to services for women and girls

In disasters, women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men. This can be due to a range of factors. To unleash this potential, gender analyses of vulnerabilities and coping strategies …

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September 08, 2021

Anticipatory Action and Child Protection Acting Early to Better Protect Children in Emergencies

In order to improve child protection in emergencies, the IFRC, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Climate Centre, and the Anticipation Hub, with the support of the Child Protection Area of …

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an adolescent girls receive UNFPA menstrual health management kits

COP26 EU Pavillion event

Why investing in scaling up gender-responsive climate action matters?

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Applying a Gender Lens to Climate Risk Finance and Insurance

Gender Context of climate risk insurance and how gender can be integrated into insurance models

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Integrating Gender Considerations into Different Models of Climate Risk Insurance (CRI)

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Please get in contact with us should you want to share knowledge resources on those topics, or engage in knowledge exchange activities.

Do you have a question?

Caroline Haar

GBV in Emergencies Specialist


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Audrey Oettli

IFRC – CP AoR Child Protection in Emergencies


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Picture by IFRC