Gender equality and women’s empowerment in the world of work in fragile, conflict and disaster settings

Conflicts and disasters, including pandemics, affect women and men in all their diversity differently, and women and girls often suffer the most. Crisis-related hardships combine and compound pre-existing disadvantages, for example, they often cause women’s working conditions to worsen while increasing their overall workload and care responsibilities. At the same time, crises can give rise to changes that enable women to take up roles that were previously available only to men, and crises can open opportunities to address existing gender-based discrimination and violations of rights.

Anchored in and building on these frameworks and UN inter-agency work and initiatives on gender equality and women’s empowerment and leadership, this guide aims to enhance awareness of gender dimensions and issues in fragile, conflict and disaster settings and to provide guidance on gender mainstreaming in initiatives related to employment and decent work across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus. It is intended to support both ILO staff and constituents and other stakeholders working at global, national or local levels in ensuring gender-responsiveness in the world of work across the triple nexus. The guide supplements existing ILO resources in the area of gender equality as well as disaster and conflict.

The first part of this guide provides an overview of how fragility, conflicts and disasters affect gender equality, particularly in the world of work, and presents the key frameworks in this area. Its second part provides practical guidance on gender mainstreaming in the world of work in settings characterized by fragility, conflicts and disasters. The section covers general recommendations and guidance for analyses and assessments as well as projects, programmes and other initiatives. It also includes gender-related challenges and dimensions as well as recommendations for specific technical areas of the Decent Work Agenda in fragile, conflict and disaster settings.