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ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights

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AICHR Thematic Study: Women in Natural Disasters: Indicative Findings in Unraveling Gender in Institutional Responses

Posted on: 9 July, 2018

As the ASEAN moves toward efforts at responding to natural disaters as a region, it has yet to fully integrate the gender approach in its regional disaster response. Already in the community-building phase of its institutional evolution, certain issues still remain in the norm-construction stage. In the case of women’s human rights in particularly difficult circumstances (e.g. natural disasters situations), there is very faint discursive recognition in institutional agreements. In the case of individual ASEAN Member States (AMS), there are more evident efforts as regards mainstreaming gender in natural disaster institutional infrastructure and mechanisms – although with some countries fairly more advanced than others.

This study was undertaken in order to compile policies and practices on women’s protection in situations of natural disasters and to document best practices in gender mainstreaming in natural disaster response and assistance, particularly, those that provide spaces for women’s participation. It was guided by an institutionalist perpective that sought to locate gender in laws, policies/plans, institutions, and practices.

Based on the indicative results of the study, the summary observations are the following:

    • The natural disaster context of countries in Southeast Asia varies, with some more prone to large-scale disasters than others.
    • Framing institutional and governance responses to natural disasters depends on its impact on societal systems. All AMS have existing natural disaster institutional infrastructures and mechanisms. Their respective natural disaster management governance follows both vertical (i.e. national to local) and horizontal (i.e. inter-agency) directions and most entities at the national level are mirrored in the local level.
    • Supporting the institutional infrastructure are different mechanisms in the form of national laws, policy directives, and/or actions plans. The natural disaster discourse is usually integrated into the meta-framework of sustainable development, climate change adaptation, or national security.
    • Integrating the gender approach into these meta-frames depends on: (a) the maturity of gender mainstreaming in the whole governance architecture; (b) the extent to which gender is recognized as an issue; and (c) the discursive construction of women in these societies.
    • There are also varying appreciations for and on women’s participation in the different aspects of natural disasters from the strategic, operational, and tactical levels. Nonetheless, integrating the gender approach in the institutional infrastructure of natural disasters can be a substantive entry point to operationalize women’s protection and empowerment, primarily because of the care roles they play in their families and communities.
    • However, women’s specific concerns – such as sexual and gender-based violence, violence against women and girls, women’s economic and political empowerment – are difficult to surface, discuss, and make a matter of concern in natural disaster and emergency/crisis institutional infrastructure and mechanisms.
    • In terms of identifying the efforts of each AMS on mainstreaming gender in their natural disaster institutional architecture and instruments, the deduced categories are: (a) incipient efforts (i.e. initial recognition but not yet institutionalized at the strategic level); modest efforts (i.e. early stages of inclusion at the strategic level and/or efforts done more in practice by government or non-government organizations); moderate efforts (i.e. gender-mainstreaming evident at the strategic level); and strong efforts (i.e. gender-mainstreaming evident at both strategic and operational levels).
    • From the perspective of community women and non-government actors from different countries, the need to mainstream gender should be reflected not just in the strategic and operational levels but more so in implementation on the ground.
    • And lastly, particular patterns at the ground level should also be recognized and considered in the design of natural disaster and emergency/crisis institutional governance. These are women’s contribution to early warning and prevention, the intersection of gender and culture in disaster relief and response, gender dimensions of migration, and women’s access to resources in post-disaster situations, to name a few.

 

The full report is available for download:

  AICHR Thematic Study on Women in Natural Disasters (9.3 MiB, 777 hits)

Philippines Promotes Human Rights-Based Approach to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in ASEAN

Posted on: 6 December, 2013

29 November 2013

The Philippines, through the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Department of Justice – Inter-agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT), hosted an ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Regional Workshop on the Human Rights-Based Approach to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, in Makati from 27 to 28 November 2013.

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Press Release: ASEAN Youth Debates on Human Rights

Posted on: 5 April, 2013

Press Release: ASEAN Youth Debates on Human Rights

(4-5 April 2013, Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell, Makati City, Philippines)

The ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) launched the first ASEAN Youth Debate on Human Rights on April 04 to 05 held at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Rockwell, Makati City, Philippines. The event was organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines in collaboration with the Ateneo Human Rights Center (AHRC) and the Ateneo Society of International Law (ASIL).

University students from the ten ASEAN Member States participated in the two-day event bearing the theme, “Mainstreaming Human Rights in ASEAN Community-Building.” The event aimed to raise greater awareness and appreciation of human rights, as well as to promote camaraderie among the students and youth of ASEAN.

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Regional Workshop and Consultation on Business and Human Rights in ASEAN

Posted on: 18 January, 2013

Regional Workshop and Consultation on Business and Human Rights, 11-12 December 2012, Singapore (Photo courtesy of the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism)

The Representative of the Philippines to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), H.E. Amb. Rosario G. Manalo, in collaboration with UN Women and the Working Group for an ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism conducted the “Regional Workshop and Consultation on Business and Human Rights in ASEAN” on 11 – 12 December 2012 at the Bayview Hotel, Singapore.

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