Official statement by Ms. Sima Bahous, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women
Your Excellencies, Distinguished delegates,
It is an honour to address this seventh session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction. Allow me to express my appreciation to the Government of Indonesia for hosting this important gathering, and to UNDRR for co-organizing.
Ladies and gentlemen, over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing disasters, including climate and environmental crises. These have all taken their highest toll from women and girls.
The Sendai Framework recognizes that gender equality, social inclusion, and women’s and girls’ leadership are essential to building resilience to disasters. Yet, we have not seen sufficient actions on the ground.
The ongoing Sendai Framework mid-term review is a critical opportunity to address gender gaps in disaster risk reduction and resilience. We need to strategically incorporate gender dimensions into the review process to identify and address the causes of gender-specific disaster impacts. We also need to leverage women’s voice, agency and leadership for disaster and climate resilience.
Concrete solutions include investments in understanding the gender dimensions of disaster risk and the indispensable role that women, including grassroots and indigenous women, play in reducing risks and building resilience. It is critical to increase financing for women’s organizations working on DRR and resilience.
We also need to strengthen gender-responsive risk governance, including through the development and implementation of gender-responsive strategies, plans, budgets and policies. In this regard, we congratulate the host country, Indonesia, and the ASEAN region, in launching last year the ASEAN Regional Framework on Protection, Gender, and Inclusion in Disaster Management, with UN Women’s support.This Framework presents a global example for how multilateral, international cooperation can catalyze both strategic and operational commitments to gender equality and addressing gender-based violence in disasters.
Lastly, excellencies, we need to foster cooperation and partnership for gender equality and women’s leadership in DRR. With this in mind, UN Women calls upon the Global Platform to include, in the chair’s summary, the promotion of a gender-responsive and inclusive Sendai Framework mid-term review process. We also call for the development of the Sendai Framework Gender Action Plan, in line with the Agreed Conclusions at the 66th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
I am pleased to share that, in partnership with UNDRR and UNFPA, supported by the Government of Australia, UN Women has developed a gender guidance note. And we are working with a global network of gender experts and more than 500 women’s organizations to help countries integrate gender considerations into their national Sendai Framework mid-term review processes.
With its critical milestones, such as the Global Platform for DRR, the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on DRR and the mid-term review process of the Sendai Framework, 2022 is a chance to close the gender gaps in DRR and resilience. In doing so, we can achieve the inclusive, sustainable, and resilient planet we all strive for.
I thank you.