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Gender equality in the 2015 SRPs - Results and evolution of the IASC Gender Marker

I am pleased to share with you "Gender equality in the 2015 SRPs - Results and evolution of the IASC Gender Marker" prepared by the IASC Gender Standby Capacity project (GenCap). The report captures lessons on integrating gender into the previous humanitarian planning process and makes recommendations for continued improvements. The recommendations are particularly timely given the planning process for the 2016 Humanitarian Response Planning (HRP) exercise currently underway.

The report illustrates a growing recognition that gender equality is pivotal to humanitarian response. It is encouraging that concerted efforts are being made to ensure that humanitarian programming effectively addresses the distinct needs of women, girls, men and boys. For example, many operations identified specific protection and reproductive needs of girls and women along with programming strategies and activities to address these needs. Similarly, the review identified examples of disadvantages and discrimination against women and girls or men and boys, with associated activities aimed at mitigating negative practices.

Despite important progress, the review of the IASC Gender Marker codes indicated that only 35 per cent of proposals considered gender issues. The majority of projects were either gender blind (22%), or only partially designed to address the distinct needs of women, girls, boys and men (42%). In some operations, a generic approach to affected populations undermined programming effectiveness, specifically by failing to recognize distinct needs of different groups of people. Despite improvements in collection and analysis of sex and age disaggregated data; this remains inconsistent. Indeed, better analysis of the difference that gender and age has on roles, access to resources and vulnerabilities is central to strengthening humanitarian programming.

Some key recommendations for the planning process include:

  • Continued improvement of quantitative and qualitative data collection, disaggregated by sex and age.
  • Where gaps in sex and age disaggregated data are identified in the Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), a plan is developed to address them in future assessments.
  • Coherent and adapted activities with corresponding indicators to address assessed disadvantages and discrimination are developed.
  • Closer attention is paid to the wider needs of women and girls and their role within society, such as in generating income or participating in community or project decisions.
  • Building on the improved articulation of the needs of women and girls, a stronger focus is placed on vulnerabilities faced by men and boys to improve the wider gender understanding.

As you prepare your HRPs, please take note of the country- and cluster-specific insights as well as the practical recommendations contained in the Report. By doing so, we will strengthen our ability to respond to urgent needs, while also tackling discrimination, reducing vulnerabilities and strengthening resilience.

Please note that the IASC Gender Marker is an important, mandatory tool that helps build understanding of how distinct gender needs are considered within humanitarian programming. In addition to advise from GenCap advisers, country teams and cluster members are encouraged to reference sector/ cluster tip sheets at: The GenCap Support Unit is also available to answer specific questions (contact: Asa Claesson,

On a related note, I take this opportunity to inform you that we will be launching the revised version of the IASC Gender & Age Marker next year. The revised tool will aid in assessing the degrees to which projects have meaningfully incorporated gender equality measures at planning and implementation phases. I look forward to working with you to systematically roll out the new Marker.

Thank you again for your efforts and I look forward to our ongoing collaboration.

My kindest regards,

Ms. Kyung-wha Kang
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

Operation(s)/ Webspace(s): 
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
29 Oct 2015
Document type: