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Photo: UN Women/Bruno Spada

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Adopting Intersectionality to DRR using Disability as an example

Intersectionality in the context of disaster risk reduction

Main findings and recommendations of the midterm review of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 indicate that ‘Governments need to recommit to ensure that multisectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder mechanisms are in place’. Furthermore ‘Governments must develop institutional structures to engage and mobilize the expertise of scientific, academic, private sector, civil society and local stakeholders, creating platforms and spaces for such stakeholders to be listened to and exert a meaningful influence over risk-informed decision-making processes.’

This increased call for strengthened disaster risk governance is key to addressing inequality based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, class and other forms of discrimination. While firm steps have been taken at some levels to address the inequalities and ensure inclusion of the groups at highest risk, it is evident that adopting an intersectional approach in disaster risk governance has not reached the key status it deserves. For example, research shows that women and adolescent girls with disabilities are disproportionately impacted by disasters. This is partly due to lack of intersectionality in the design and implementation of DRR activities where specific barriers for women and girls with disabilities is not considered, but it is for granted that inclusion of women or inclusion of persons with disabilities per say would be sufficient to address challenges faced by women and adolescent girls with disabilities.

In this Risk Reduction Hub event, we will critically examine what intersectionality means in risk-informed decision-making, investment and behaviour. Representatives of different stakeholder groups will come together to assess whether and to what extent they have adopted intersectionality in their work and try to identify feasible and concrete actions to strengthen intersectionality.

The objectives of the event are as follows: 

  • Explore the meaning of intersectionality in the context of disaster risk reduction and how adoption of intersectionality may contribute in advancing implementation of Sendai Framework.
  • Identify concrete recommendations to strengthen intersectionality in risk-informed decision-making, investment and behaviour

This event can be followed through UN Web TV.