Southeast Asia is among the most disaster-prone regions in the world. Between 2004-2014 alone, the region contributed to more than half of global disaster casualties with an estimated economic loss of $91 billion. The impacts of these disasters have not been gender neutral, with women, children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities among those disproportionately impacted. 

Over the past decade, assessments from the region have shown that the impact of disasters on women and girls are multi-dimensional, spanning impacts on livelihoods to education to health to unequal access to services and relief. Recent research has furthermore highlighted the urgency of acting to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) during and after disasters, and pointed to both existing efforts and key gaps in not only addressing women’s vulnerabilities, but also catalysing their roles as leaders and agents of change in disasters at community, national, and regional levels.

The region has led substantive efforts to engender the implementation of the Sendai Framework, including through Viet Nam’s leadership in convening 200+ stakeholders to develop the Ha Noi Recommendations on Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction. Most recently, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has mainstreamed gender and social inclusion throughout its Work Programme for 2021-2025, and established a new Technical Working Group on Protection, Gender, and Inclusion (TWG-PGI) in disaster management, co-chaired by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the ASEAN Committee on Women (ACW). 

Women with container panning the water
A Myanmar women pans for minerals in northern Thailand.  Photo:  UN Women/Pornvit Visitoran


Significant progress has been made in the region, including the endorsement of the ASEAN Regional Framework on Protection, Gender, and Inclusion in Disaster Management 2021-2025, which was launched at the ministerial level at the Commemoration for the ASEAN Day on Disaster Management. It will serve as the protection, gender, and mainstreaming strategy for implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Work Programme 2021-2025, and outlines a series of 28 target actions that fill in the “missing links” between disaster management, GBV, child protection, disability inclusion, and gender actors in the region. Operational guidance for the framework is being developed and will be launched in Feb/Mar 2022. It builds on many past initiatives, including of course the 2016 Ha Noi Conference on Gender and DRR and lays the foundations for further action here in the region and beyond.

The short launch video for the Framework can be viewed here.


Explore publications, tools, women's perspectives, case studies, and expert insights focused on building women's resilience to disasters and threats in the Southeast Asia region, in the collections below. 

  • Midterm review of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030: gender guidance
  • ASEAN Framework on Protection, Gender, and Inclusion in Disaster Management
  • Guidelines for Gender integration in the displacement and protection clusters
  • Adapting to COVID-19: A checklist for gender responsive humanitarian programming
  • Framework and tools for measuring women’s leadership and meaningful participation in COVID-19 responses
Case Studies
  • Partnerships for building resilience in the Philippines
  • Vegetable gardens bring veritable gains for women in climate-struck Cambodia
  • Strengthening women’s livelihoods and participation for greater resilience to disasters and climate change in Viet Nam
  • Project to empower women in climate change decisions in Cambodia
Women's perspectives
22 October 2021
This virtual roundtable explored the inclusion of different groups, for example women, people with disabilities, and youth, in disaster risk management.
14 October 2021
The event featured the launch of the ASEAN Regional Framework on Protection, Gender, and Inclusion in Disaster Management 2021-2025. 
Women in a meeting
Regional Experts

WRD Community of Practice

You are more than welcome to join the  WRD Community of Practice and/ or sign up to receive our newsletter.