By Mambu James Kpargoi, Monrovia
Participants at a one day Gender Mainstreaming Workshop of the Liberia National Red Cross Society (LNRCS) Saturday discussed gender issues and how they matter within disaster management.
The workshop held in Monrovia under the auspices of the West African Disaster Management Capacity Building Project of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and the Swedish Red Cross brought together 20 participants from both genders, to discuss the main approach of the IFRC on how to address gender issues in Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Participants, including representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, also discussed Gender guidelines for disaster management and gender plan, obstacles and opportunities for gender mainstreaming and how gender matters in disaster management.
They also deliberated on the guiding principles of gender, including equal opportunity for participation; addressing specific needs of women, men, boys, girls and vulnerable people during disaster; empowerment of women and diversification of livelihood.
The rationale for integrating a gender perspective in the activities of the IFRC lies in the Red Cross and Red Crescent humanitarian mandate to prevent and alleviate human suffering without discrimination.
The purpose of the policy is to define the main approach of the Federation on how to address gender issues in Red Cross and Red Crescent actions.
The policy establishes the basis for the Federation to ensure that all Red Cross and Red Crescent programmes benefit men and women equally, according to their different needs, and with input and equal participation of men and women at all levels within the National Societies and the Federation Secretariat.
The workshop was facilitated by two experts, Marie Nilsson of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency and Jerry Niati of the IFRC.