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Report of the inter-cluster workshop, Aden 27 & 28 April 2014

Women, men, boys and girls, including those with specific needs are affected differently by armed conflicts, and experience different fears, worries and reactions. They face different risks and have different needs.

Some examples from Aden:


  • Loss of property, assets, livelihoods, income
  • Pressure of the tribe to be recruited and fight
  • Risk of being injured or loss of live
  • Failure to “protect” his family
  • Fear of own and family safety (especially if they are separated)
  • Shame of fleeing home
  • Behave more aggressively than usually (increased violence toward women and children)


  • More responsibility: children, protection, food, water, shelter (become head of households)
  • Fear of safety, shelter, food
  • GBV, including sexual abuse
  • Miscarriage due to stress and lack of health care
  • Worry of men/boys staying back
  • Loss of privacy (pregnancy, lactation, personal hygiene)
  • More depression (that can lead to a poor care of children)
  • Will be more hungry than other family members


  • Forced recruitment into armed groups
  • Be involved in tribal conflicts
  • Arm themselves
  • Become head of households
  • Turn to drugs
  • Behave aggressively, including at school
  • Child labour
  • GBV, including sexual abuse
  • Lost of social protection networks
  • Fear separation from their family
  • Stop their education
  • Trauma


  • Early marriage due to pressure of reputation
  • GBV, including sexual abuse
  • Lost of social protection networks
  • Fear separation from their family
  • Stop their education
  • Trauma
  • Privacy: not having separate WASH facilities/toilets, especially in time of period
  • Restriction in movement

People with diverse needs (handicap, elderly, minorities, etc.)

  • They will have more needs after the conflict

Gender sensitive needs assessments

In order to provide a response that caters to the different needs and experiences of the population, assessments must capture the specific needs of men, women, boys and girls, including those with specific needs (elderly, handicaps, marginalized, etc.).


  • More difficult to access women, that can sometimes only be approached by women
  • Women staff face more restrictions: security concerns, restrictions of movement, etc.
  • Information concerning sensitive subjects (ex: SGBV) is difficult to obtain


  • Ensure assessment team includes male and female staff, having a deep knowledge of the culture (local practices, beliefs, tribal context, etc.)
  • Ensure women, men, boys and girls, including those with diverse needs are consulted: ensure the time and location of assessments are suitable to all groups. Assess each group separately. Use women, young or disable associations whenever they exist. Use telephone when access is not possible or some groups are difficult to reach
  • Adapt the assessment methodology to men, women, boys and girls(questionnaires, interviews, focus group guides, etc.), and take the time to analyse gender and age dimensions
  • Enhance the capacities of the assessment team on how to hold interviews, how to obtain sensitive information (ex: SGBV), how to interview children, etc.
  • Evaluate if GBV risk has increasedamong men, women, boys and girls, both inside the HH and in the community
  • Disaggregate data of the population in need to better adapt the humanitarian response

Gender sensitive registration and targeting process

Some groups face more difficulties to be registered or targeted: female headed households, minorities, those who are not in the cities, marginalized people, the disabled, sick, elderly, non-educated people. It is necessary to ensure individual registration and targeting of people with specific needs and circumstances.


  • Access to informationabout the registration or targeting process: When? Where? Who?, etc. Some groups have less access to information. Illiteracy and lower education can be an obstacle to reaching the correct information.
  • Reach the registration places: women and children headed households will have more difficulties to reach the registration points . Security concerns and the cost of the transport are some of the reasons. This can lead to abuse (including sexual) if an intermediate has to register them.•Lack of legal documents:female and children headed households are more likely to not have legal documents needed for the registration.
  • Be in the list of registration or targeting: favouritism (family, tribe, party, etc.) can affect eligibility and the final list. The most vulnerable can be replaced or forgotten as they will complain less.


  • Use diverse and effective channels of information ensuring women and men in need are reached with the information, including those with more difficult access
  • Select the targeting criteria in the most participatory way, including men and women in the decision making. Agree on how polygamous households will be targeted
  • Involve LNGOs and CBOs in the registration process, but ensure proper coordination with the government
  • Transparency:ensure a transparent selection process and share the information with the beneficiaries in written, drawn and oral way. Make public the lists and establish a confidential complaint mechanism, accessible to women and men. Set up an external mechanism to monitor registration systems to prevent exploitation and abuse
  • Track sex and age disaggregated data: ensure that systems are in place to register and analyse sex and age disaggregated data and train staff to fill the templates and report them
  • Minimise displacements: go as close as possible to the beneficiaries to ensure the most vulnerable are registered and target
  • Use key informers in the targeting committees: select male and female key informers that are trusted by the community, including men and women. Involve women associations in the targeting committees

Gender sensitive services and activities

Services and activities have to be accessible to all the population in need. Measures need to be implemented to ensure the humanitarian response reaches the most vulnerable.


  • Access to informationabout the services and activities. Some groups have less access to information. Illiteracy and lower education can be an obstacle to reach the correct information.
  • Cultural practices might limit the access to some services or activities,for example“men and women are often not allowed to be / to work in the same place“, “men decide on women’s movements”
  • Access to the services can be more difficult for disables, elderly, ill/sick, marginalized, women and child-headed households, due to the security situation, restrictions on movements, cost of transport, family responsibilities (care of children, household work, etc.)
  • Discrimination:some groups can be marginalized from benefiting from some goods, to participate in some activities or to access some services


Use participatory approach, asking men, women, boys and girls (a) to design services and activities: what, where, when, how, etc. and (b) to decide the content of the kits (NFI, shelter, hygienic kits, food baskets)

  • Use diverse and effective channels of information ensuring women and men in need are reached with the information, including those with more difficult access
  • Take into account timing, staffing and location of the activities and services to ensure everyone’s access
  • Have religious and local authorities as allies to ensure the participation of women, boys and girls
  • Promote local staff (both male and female) whenever it’s possible, as well as community volunteers (trained and followed up)that can reach the population and work at household level
  • GBV: take into account security and GBV risks (on the way to, in the services/activity, on the way back) including potential exploitation or abuse from the humanitarian actors
  • Ensure privacy and confidentiality in some services (specially GVB services)
  • Build capacities of the staff to identify and respond to people with diverse needs, including elderly, pregnant and lactating women, people living with disability, etc.
  • Transparency: explain to men and women who is eligible for what and in what quantity. Establish a complaint mechanism
  • Adapt activities to men, women, boys and girls of different ages including those with specific needs,and provide a variety of options for working, training, etc. Identify ways to incorporate traditional labour roles for all vulnerable people (mixed/separated activities, culturally adapted)
  • Bring services and hold activities as near as possible to beneficiaries:provide services and activities at local level, provide outreach services to remote areas
  • Don’t forget the men and boys in awareness raising activities(ex: nutrition, wash, health, etc.)

Women’s and men’s meaningful participation.

Men and women have different views, needs and resilience capacities. As part of the society, their voices need to be heard. For meaningful participation they both have to enhance their capacities and access to the decision-making spaces.


  • Less presence of women in decision-making spaces and in capacity building activities due to non-acceptance bumen, women not aware about their possible presence, restriction of movement, no time due to household activities, location, security, cost of the transport, reluctance to joint activities, etc..
  • Less meaningful participationdue to higher rates of illiteracy, lower level of education, cultural norms (older vs younger, women vs men, powerful people -educated, reach, religion, etc. -vs non powerful people), less experience talking in large groups. When women, boys and girls are present, but they feel they are not contributing, or their voice is worthless, they will stop participating.


  • Enhance capacities on how to hold a meeting, including strategies to ensure all the voices are heard
  • Cover all costs related with transport, accommodation, food
  • In contexts where women have strong restrictions of movement as well as to participate in mixed activities, consider: (1) to have separate men/women activities and parallel male/female committees, but ensure that both voices are taken in consideration or (2) consider “male guards” (mahram) under the women' request and if all of the women agree. Include the cost of “male guards” in the budget.
  • Criteria of participation:use the community approach to select the committee members or the training participants. But advocate for taking into consideration influential women with experience, that belong to CBOs / association and that are trusted by other women.
  • Establish quotas to ensure a minimum participation of both sexs(ex: at least 30% would have to be men or women)
  • Choose the best time and location for all the participants, and consider a solution for lactating and infants children (ex: one person can take care of the children in a place near where the activity is hold)
  • Ensure everyone understands the benefits of having men and women in the committees: aware women about the relevance to raise their voice and aware men (especially local authorities and religious leaders) about the benefits of having all views and voices represented in the committees.


Web site providing all the information regarding the Gender Markers :

Gender Handbook on the humanitarian response "Women, girls, boys and men: different needs – equal opportunities”:

Free E-learning course on gender in humanitarian action:

Guidelines for GBV interventions: