Gender, women and health

Gender and health in disasters

In disaster situations, women and men, boys and girls are affected differently. Available data suggest that there is a pattern of gender differentiation at all levels of the disaster process: exposure to risk, risk perception, preparedness, response, physical impact, psychological impact, recovery and reconstruction.

Due to social norms and their interaction with biological factors, women and children-particularly girls- may face increased risk to adverse health effects and violence. They may be unable to access assistance safely and/or to make their needs known. Additionally, women are insufficiently included in community consultation and decision-making processes, resulting in their needs not being met.

WHO is committed to ensuring that gender considerations are adequately addressed in all of its relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities.

WHO resources

Other resources