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With the endorsement of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, the Inter Cluster Gender Working Group (GWG) was established on 30 April 2015, five days after the devastating 7.8 earthquake. While disasters do not discriminate, women, men and children experience their impacts differently. The humanitarian response has required a gender sensitive approach that addresses the pre-crisis gender inequalities and distinct needs of specific groups on the basis of sex, age, caste/ethnicity and other identities. Towards this goal, the Gender Working Group is providing an inter-cluster coordination mechanism to raise gender equality issues and support the realisation of gender responsive programming in the work of clusters/sectors throughout the humanitarian action phase, as well as to enhance cross-learning of good practices across clusters.

The GWG is co-chaired by UN Women and UN OCHA, in line with the commitments set in the global Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies. It consists of gender focal points nominated by each cluster and is technically supported by the GenCap Adviser, while UN Women provides secretarial support. In addition, the GWG provides a separate multi-stakeholder forum (consisting of over 60 members) which gathers a diverse set of humanitarian actors to share information, coordinate efforts towards shared priorities, and raise attention to key issues in the field of gender equality.