GenderThe African Union Commission’s Directorate of Sustainable Environment and Blue Economy under the Department for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment – represented by the DRR Unit under the Sustainable Environment Division; AUC’s Directorate of Women, Gender & Youth  (AU WGYD); and the African Risk Capacity (ARC), a Specialised Agency of the African Union (AU) are working together to ensure the integration of Gender equality and women empowerment issues in the disaster risk management and financing landscape through the establishment of a Gender and Disaster Risk Management Platform (GDRMP).


The Platform, when fully functional, is expected to contribute to the development and management of knowledge on the issues of gender and DRM in the continent. Specifically, the Platform will: 

  • address the research and development gap in gender and disaster risk management and financing in Africa by engaging in studies, collection and analyses of gender disaggregated data, impact assessments, publication of best practices among others; 
  • serve as a medium for stakeholders to increase their know-how with regard to the practical steps for gender mainstreaming in DRM; 
  • raise awareness of gender perspectives in DRM;
  • be a mechanism for policy dialogue and advocacy on gender transformative DRM approaches geared towards the adoption of a gender transformative ‘culture of insurance’ by Member States.

In its operations, the Platform will leverage modern technology means to achieve its objectives. Meetings/brainstorming sessions would largely take place on-line whilst also making provision for an annual face to face meeting. In this perspective;

  • Virtual discussions and brainstorming sessions will take place all year round through a dedicated website/social media platform that will be developed. Discussions on the cyber space will be coordinated by dedicated ARC staff with a view to ensuring focused interactions and generating conclusions and recommendations relevant for policy dialogue, knowledge development and experience sharing.
  • Face-to-face meetings are planned to be held once a year. This could serve as a Gender and DRM Forum and would address specific themes, through plenary and side events, guided by key international and regional events. It is hoped that ensuing declarations from such Forum would feed into relevant regional and global events and processes.

For maximum efficiency the Platform is structured as follows:

  • GENERAL ASSEMBLY (GA): The GA is the overall structure where decisions are taken and strategies formulated. The GA will meet physically on an annual basis, on the margins of related activities of either the AU DREA or the AU WGYD.
  • The ThinkTank: This sub-structure of the Platform will be composed of representatives of academia, research institutions and the private sector interested in the development of innovative solutions to gender and DRM challenges. The ThinkTank will meet regularly virtually and physically when necessary. Thematic discussions of the ThinkTank will be focused on 
  1. Gender and Early warning and preparedness
  2. Gender and Response, recovery and reconstruction
  3. Gender and climate and disaster risk financing
  4. Gender and disaster risk governance
  • Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). This sub structure of the Platform will be charged with finalising decisions of the GA and presenting them to relevant AU bodies for the purpose of adoption. The TAC will be composed of one member each representing the various categories that make up the General Assembly. The TAC will meet regularly as and when needed. 

Activities of the Platform will be focused on the following two main work streams and actions:

  • Knowledge Development: The Platform will proactively work to ensure the development of knowledge relevant to enabling decision makers take informed decisions to ensure gender transformative disaster risk management and financing. As DRM is a dynamic area, and to ensure relevance of such knowledge to African countries, specific knowledge areas that will be developed will be identified on an annual basis. Actions in this category will include capacity building activities, research and development initiatives, provision of grants focused on building resilience etc.   
  • Knowledge Management: whereas knowledge may be available or developed, it is important that such knowledge be accessible to decision makers and other end users as and when needed. The second workstream of the Gender and DRM platform will therefore proactively work towards sharing and disseminating knowledge on gender and Disaster Risk Management & Financing (DRM&F) to all partners and stakeholders. Actions in this area will include development and use of cyber platform, advocacy and visibility initiatives, policy dialogues, publications as well as events geared towards providing incentives for gender and DRM champions and partners.

As partnership is key to effective DRM, the Platform is open to all key actors in the DRM spectrum in the African continent including, relevant Ministries of AU Members States, Regional Economic Commissions, International Organisations and Development Partners, Research Institutes and the Academia, the Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and women rights organisations among others.