A practical resource for humanitarians, field-based practitioners, cluster coordinators, policy-makers, donors, researchers, advocates, activists, and reporters to ensure a more effective and accountable response to the Nepal Earthquakes.

This page has been created to support effective and accountable humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts in response to the devastating earthquakes in Nepal in April and May 2015. Ensuring that the different needs and capacities of women, girls, boys and men are central to all response planning will be critical if we are to achieve this.

As humanitarian practitioners, The Gender Agency is acutely aware of the resource and time constraints when responding to humanitarian crises. We have also found that human and financial resources, organisations, tools and practitioners working on protection, Gender Based Violence, Sexual and Reproductive Health and integrating gender analysis across all clusters and sectors, often differ. This page is one step towards bringing these together.

This site will be regularly updated based on field updates and any requests or contributions. If you find this site useful for your work or have any suggestions, recommendations or information you would like to share, please be in touch: contact@thegenderagency.org.


1. Key Gender Guidance for all sectors 


Gender Equality Update No 2 - Nepal Earthquake Response (Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force, 5 June 2015)

Key facts and figures, initiatives, progress, challenges, needs and opportunities related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the Nepal earthquake emergency response.


Gender Equality Bulletin No 2 - Nepal Earthquake Response (Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force, 29 May 2015)

Key facts and figures, initiatives, progress, challenges, needs and opportunities related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the Nepal earthquake emergency response.


A Strategy to Promote Gender Equality in the Humanitarian Response (Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force, 29 May 2015)

It is critical to understand how crises affect women and men, girls and boys of different ages, social conditions, disability and other diversities for an effective humanitarian response. Women, girls, boys, men have distinct needs, priorities, responsibilities, limitations and protection needs. They are exposed to differential risks and vulnerabilities but also play unique and important roles in responding to emergencies within their respective communities. Gender equality as well as social inclusion are thus about better targeting and programming and therefore about the effectiveness of humanitarian action.


Gender Equality Bulletin - Special Issue: One Month On (Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force, 25 May 2015)

  • While disasters do not discriminate, women, men, girls and boys experience their impacts differently. In Nepal, women, in particular single women, female-headed households, women with disabilities and older women, are reporting discrimination in access to relief and information. Men are experiencing higher levels of stress due to their inability to fulfill their traditional gender role as family providers, leading to a reported increase in substance abuse and other risky behaviours.
  • Women have been disproportionately impacted by the earthquakes, however, simply viewing them as victims only exacerbates their vulnerability. Women have knowledge, relationships and practical skills that are critical to every level of relief and recovery efforts.
  • It is crucial that there is no discrimination based on sex, age, sexual orientation, gender, class, ethnicity or ability at all stages of the humanitarian response. This includes the discussions and decision-making processes that determine the shape of ongoing relief and recovery activities, as well as in the mechanisms for monitoring how effective these activities are.

Moving forward: relief, recovery and rebuilding

• The unique needs of women, men, girls and boys – including security, health and access to services – must be incorporated in analyses of disaster risk and post disaster risk assessments, while also recognising their right to dignity. Not all women and girls are equally vulnerable, and not all men and boys are equally less vulnerable.

• When consulting communities both women and men need to be engaged, as well as the different ethnic groups, castes and/or social classes represented in those communities.

• Identify vulnerable groups, who may face challenges in making their voices heard; avoid combining women andchildren as one ‘vulnerable’ group.

• As community structures crumble and violence escalates,steps must be taken to prevent the increased vulnerabilityof women and girls to sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation. At the same time, the vulnerabilities of boys and men to become victims of such violence must not be neglected.

• Safe spaces must be provided for taking rest, receiving psycho-social counselling and children’s play.

• Put in place special measures to make sure that persons with disabilities and older people, especially women, are included in assessment, identification and registration processes in order to have accurate information about their specific needs.


  • Key facts and figures, initiatives, progress, challenges, needs and opportunities related to gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of the Nepal earthquake emergency response.



IASC Nepal Gender Alert (IASC Gender Reference Group, 18 May 2015)

  • Taking into account the different needs of women, girls, boys and men makes humanitarian response more effective and accountable to all affected populations. 
  •  A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25th of April at 11:56am local time causing large scale damage and many casualties. An additional major earthquake struck on the 12th of May. Over 8 million people are affected in 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts, with over 8,600 deaths and over 14,000 injuries (as of 18 th of May). Over 2 million people live in the 11 most critically hit districts in the Central and Western Region, including the Kathmandu Valley districts. In these locations, the 2011 census records 284,144 female headed households, 31,609 women with disabilities, 138,032 women over the age of 65, 609,247 girls aged 14 or under and 630,678 illiterate women and girls.
  •  Current estimates suggest that approximately 750,000 houses have been destroyed or damaged. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix has identified 234 displacement sites in the Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur), hosting 41,890 IDPs. Data on the numbers killed, injured and displaced has not been disaggregated by sex or age to date.
  •  The specific conditions of women and girls in displaced camps and amongst the wider crisis affected population has yet to be fully assessed. The experience for women and girls in Nepal prior to the earthquake was one characterized by low levels of access to education, healthcare, economic, social and political opportunities. Recorded incidents of gender-based violence were high, with the National Demographic Health Survey (2011) indicating that 22% of women aged 15-49 had experienced physical violence and 12% had experienced sexual violence.
  •  Large numbers of women and girls are marginalised in society by caste designations and entrenched harmful traditional practices – such as child marriage, bonded labour and exclusion during menstruation. Other intersectionalities - such as age, marital status and disability – also exacerbate the level of discrimination. The ongoing crisis is likely to greatly heighten the level of vulnerability amongst women and girls.
  • Participation and leadership of women and girls in the assessment, planning and implementation of the humanitarian and early recovery response is crucial to ensuring the needs and vulnerabilities of women and girls are identified and addressed. UN Women facilitated a meeting with national women’s groups and civil society was days after the earthquake, who have  developed a “Common Charter of Women’s Demands for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Humanitarian Response” addressing the humanitarian response and early recovery strategic planning.


OSOCC Situation Overview  (15 May 2015)


UNGA Resolution on Nepal (13 May 2015)

Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction in response to the devastating effects of the earthquake in Nepal

Emphasizes the need to urgently help survivors through immediate and needs-based relief assistance, underlining the importance of reaching affected people, particularly in remote areas, addressing the needs of the most vulnerable, as well as the specific needs of women, girls, men and boys, and considering the use of the most appropriate means;


Emphasizes the importance of linking relief with rehabilitation and development from very early on, of building resilience and “building back better”, of further strengthening national capacities at all levels, including effective and efficient governance and institutions, to prepare for and respond to future disasters of this kind, and of integrating a gender perspective, ensuring that women take an active and equal role in all relevant aspects related to disaster management and rehabilitation.



Common Charter of Women’s Demands for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Humanitarian Response (5 May 2015)

Developed by national women’s groups to support gender sensitive programming through the cluster system.

Women’s Representation and leadership

  • Humanitarian coordination should enable a formal, meaningful consultative forum with women’s groups/networks to ensure a gender lens in the assessment, planning, prioritization, coordination, development and implementation of policies and programs.
  • Relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts must reflect the voices of women and the vital leadership role women play in shaping priorities for relief and reconstruction.
  • Deploy women into technical and decision-making roles and ensure all humanitarian responders consult with and involve women’s civil society groups and women of all ages, including those hard to reach (female headed households) or at risk, such as women with disabilities or older women.


Press Release and Appeal to Provide Gender-sensitive Relief Support for Earth-quake Survivors (Women’s Rehabilitation Centre, 5 May 2015).




Guidelines on Sector-Specific Gendered Assessments (Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force - Nepal Earthquake Response, 6 May 2015)


2. Rapid Gender Analysis  



Nepal Gender Profile (OCHA, 5 May 2015)

Gender and Protection Overview (CARE) (CARE, May 2015)

Rapid Gender Analysis for Gorkha (CARE, May 2015)

Rapid Gender Analysis for Lamjung (CARE, May 2015)

Rapid Gender Analysis for Sindhupalchowk (CARE, May 2015)

Rapid Gender Analysis for Dhading (CARE, May 2015)


3. Gender Based Violence 


Gender-based violence is understood to encompass a range of harmful acts which are based on socially-ascribed gender differences. The different forms of GBV that may arise in the current context in Nepal may include, but are not limited to: physical violence; sexual violence; denial of resources and opportunities or services; psychological/emotional abuse; forced and early marriage; trafficking and abduction of women and girls; and harmful traditional practices. (Nepal GBV subcluster)

GBV sub-cluster

In late April 2015 following the devastating earthquake, the GBV subcluster was re-activated as part of the overall protection cluster response, under the auspices ofDepartment of Women and Children (Government of Nepal) and co-lead by UNFPA.

The GBV subcluster leads all efforts at national and district level to promote immediate prevention and response to gender based violence from the early stages of the emergency, relief, recovery and reconstruction. The GBV subcluster aims to address both immediate humanitarian service delivery needs and action to prevent and respond to GBV, as well as longer-term development of services, systems, and structures to protect the affected population from GBV.

The GBV subcluster will coordinate at the national level from Kathmandu, and for field level it will primarily focus its interventions in the 14 most affected districts as per the government response, these are: Kathmandu, Kavre, Lalitpur, Baktapur, Sindupalchowk, Gorkha, Dhading, Nuwakot, Makwanpur, Sindhuli, Rasuwa, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Okhaldhunga.Link to the subcluster site here.

Note: These resources have been shared by the GBV subcluster operating in Nepal and are current for the earthquake response.


GBV subcluster Meeting Minutes

GBV subcluster Meeting minutes - 6 May 2015

GBV subcluster Meeting Minutes - 12 & 14 May 2015

GBV subcluster 5Ws (Who, What, When, Where, for Whom?) (14 May 2015)


Field Updates

Field Update from WOREC (16 May 2015)

Field Updates from Women’s Human Rights (WHR) Nepal (14 May 2015)

We would also like to inform you that the protection clusters at District level (lead by WCOs) are in process to develop District action plans, for which we encourage your organizations to participate at their respective protection cluster meetings to be involved and ensure it reflects your activities in their action plan, they can contact the respective WCOs (see attached). So far we are informed for Gorka, Sindupalchowck and Dhading, we will share their plans once completed.

Oxfam Preliminary assessment findings (Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot, Dhading and Gorkaha)

District Protection Assessment - Dhading



Nepal GBV Advocacy note (GBV Sub-Cluster, May 2015)


GBV Referral Nepal - Practical Guide (12 May 2015)

This is the first version of the GBV Referral practical guide, developed by the ad-hoc referral working group of the GBV sub-cluster.

  • The referral guide is intended to provide practical guidance on referring GBV survivors to appropriate services while maintaining a survivor centered approach in line with the guiding principles of safety, respect and confidentiality.  It is not intended to replace existing national protocols.
  • It provides a directory of services which are known to be operational at district level. It is not exhaustive of all existing services as other mappings are taking place which will be incorporated in the revision.
  • The ad-hoc referral working group will be revising GBV Information Management System tools which were rolled out in Nepal, adapting them to the current earthquake response to provide a standardized system for reporting among subcluster members.
  • This is being translated into Nepali and will be shared soon.
  • A next step will be to complete further mapping of services per District, assessing their quality and capacity and developing District specific GBV referrals, which could also completed jointly with the Child Protection sub-cluster.

Female Friendly Spaces (FFS) - Guidance (12 May 2015)

  • This guidance provides a minimum set of standards and procedures for adequate provision of services of FFS (or also known as WFS).
  • The guidance note can be revised once practical lessons are learned on the operationalization of FFS in the affected areas. The note will also be translated into Nepali and to be shared shortly.

Gender sensitive policy guidance - Women’s Rehabilitation Centre Nepal (WOREC) (12 May 2015)

Trafficking key messages (Nepali)


4. Sexual and Reproductive Health 




Inter-Agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crisis: Resource page for Nepal Earthquake 


IAWG Statement on Addressing the Needs of Women and Girls in the Nepal Earthquake Humanitarian Response

Reproductive Health Response to Nepal Earthquake - InterAgency Working Group on Reproductive Health (May 2015)

Emergency Contraception in Nepal Earthquake Response (14 May 2015)


Health Cluster Bulletin No 5 - Reproductive Health (3 June 2015)

Reproductive Health

  • UNICEF has established 15 shelter homes in eight of the highly affected districts namely Dhading, Dolakha, Gorkha, Kavre, Nuwakot, Ramechhap, and Sindhupalchok for pregnant women, postnatal mothers and their newborn and under five children. The shelter homes were also provided with family hygiene and dignity kits to address the basic needs of women and girls of reproductive age. The shelter homes have already started accommodated a total of 71 clients ranging from 2 to16 case per shelter home.
  • A relief package for Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs) has been developed and field tested by Child Health Division (CHD). The CHD together with Family Health Division plans to have a joint discussion on finalizing the content of this package.
  • The Reproductive health sub-cluster is developing a relief package for FCHVs and health workers in consultation with MoHP. A guideline on ensuring quality of reproductive health services provided at camps, makeshift and/or rehabilitated health facilities is being finalized and a guideline on use of Emergency Contraceptive Pills has been developed to facilitate appropriate and adequate usage of this commodity among affected population.
  • As of 3 June 2015 34 RH camps have been conducted in Sindhuli district. Family Planning Association Nepal (FPAN) and ADRA are providing RH services to more than 6500 people in Kavre, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Rasuwa, Sindhuli and Makwanpur districts.
  • Save the Children facilitated to deliver RH Kits provided by UNPFA to Baguwa, Swara, Tandrang, Panchkuwa Deurali and Swara VDCs for the continuity of RH services.
  • A separate Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) working group has been formed under RH Sub-cluster to ensure that ASRH issues are adequately integrated within the overall RH response.
  • With logistical and funding support from UNFPA, CARE is providing orientation to health facilities staff on reproductive health kits including the clean delivery kits and dignity kits in Gorkha, Dhading, Sindhupalchok districts.

Health Cluster Bulletin - Reproductive Health Update (14 May 2015)



SPRINT Emergency Response - Update 2 (9 May 2015)


Field tools

UNFPA Dignity Kit Guidance Note (Nepal)


UNFPA Dignity Kit Infographic (Nepal)

Nepal Dignity Kit Infographic (UNFPA, 5 May 2015)



5. Humanitarian Coordination mechanisms


Gender, Protection, Gender-Based Violence and Reproductive Health

Gender Task Force

  • The first meeting of the Inter-Cluster Gender Task Force (ICGTF) was convened on 2 May and was attended by representatives of 20 agencies and highlighted in the Nepal Earthquake SitRep 13 (11 May). The purpose of the ICGTF is ensure effective mainstreaming of gender in the humanitarian response across the clusters and the GBV sub-cluster, to agree on standards and monitoring impact and to share relevant information.


Protection Cluster 


GBV Sub-Cluster (see section above)


Reproductive Health Sub-Cluster


6. Practitioner Tools – Gender, Reproductive Health, GBV and Protection 

The Gender Agency has created this online toolkit for use by field-based practitioners and programmers working to ensure a gender sensitive relief and recovery to the Nepal Earthquake – across all clusters. 



Online Toolkit for Nepal Earthquake Response

  • Summary of Checklists - Gender across Clusters
  • Gender in Assessments - MIRA, PDNA
  • Gender Mainstreaming – Sector Guidance
  • GBV in Disaster Response
  • Protection Resources
  • Gender Resources, Training and Tools


If you have resources you would like to share, please email us at contact@thegenderagency.org.


7. Reporting on Gender, Reproductive Health, GBV and Protection issues 


Gendered impacts of the earthquake 

New estimates show 126,000 pregnant women affected by Nepal quake (UNFPA, 29 April 2015)

Why women are more at risk than men in earthquake ravaged Nepal  (Sjelly Walia and Akshat Rathi, 30 April 2015)

UN Women to address gender-based violence in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal (30 April 2015)

UN flash appeal says USD 415 million is required to reach affected populations with life-saving assistance and protection in the next three months.

After Earthquake in Nepal, sanitary menstruation practices at risk (Purvi Thacker, NY Times, 1 May 2015)

Menstrual health is low in the list of priorities during initial disaster relief management activities

Reaching quake-affected pregnant women in Nepal (UNFPA Nepal, 5 May 2015)

In Nepal’s Kavre District, many of the pregnant women are in urgent need of obstetric care. UNFPA’s most recent estimates indicate some 126,000 pregnant women have been affected by the disaster. 

Nepal quake survivors face threat from human traffickers supplying sex trade (The Guardian, 5 May 2015)

Criminal networks using cover of rescue effort to target poor rural communities in country from which an estimated 15,000 girls are trafficked a year, warn NGOs

Girls rights must be protected  after the Nepal Earthquake (Olga De Biaggio, Plan UK/Guardian, 5 May 2015)

Restoring health, hope and dignity for affected women and girls in post-earthquake Nepal (UNFPA Nepal, 6 May 2015)

Under the UN Flash Appeal for Nepal, UNFPA has requested support for its humanitarian work under two categories: Reproductive Health (RH) and Gender-Based Violence (GBV). RH and dignity kits form a key component of UNFPA’s overall response, which also includes the creation of women-friendly spaces within camps for the displaced and other environments, and the provision of essential reproductive health and medical services including contraception, safer childbirth and post-partum care.

Are earthquakes like the one in Nepal different for women? (Anna Kramer, Oxfam America, 7 May 2015)

Chance of Citizenship also destroyed in Nepal (Catherine Harrington/Women’s Refugee Commission, 8 May 2015)

The earthquake in Nepal, along with a discriminatory law, leaves thousands of newborns at risk of statelessness.

Conditions remain harsh for Nepal quake survivors (UNFPA, 18 May 2015)

Gender Identity and Disaster Response in Nepal (Protection Gateway, May 2015)

Agencies need to be mindful of the special needs of LGBTI victims of disasters in order to enhance protection and minimise unintended harmful consequences of relief efforts.


Role of women and women’s organisations in relief and recovery efforts 

Why women have a special role to play in disaster relief (Nisha Gautam and Vidisha Mishra, 28 April 2015)

Voices of Women from the Nepal Earthquake - The Story of Jaisithok Village (UNDP Asia-Paciifc, 5 May 2015)

Meet the amazing women rebuilding communities in Nepal (Marion Molteno, 6 May 2015)

Restoring Dignity: Women Mobilise Relief Efforts in Nepal (UN Women, 7 May)

Nepal’s Earthquake: Grassroots women as first responders (Renu Rajbhandari and Yifat Susskind, 14 May 2015).

Networks of Nepali grassroots women are reconstituting protective guards against increased violence against women, and have compiled core guidelines for relief workers to ensure the particular needs of women and girls are met.
Why Women Should Lead Nepal’s Recovery  (Ravi Kumar, Time Magazine, 8 June 2015)


8. Lessons Learned and Evaluations on Gender, GBV and Reproductive Health in disaster relief and recovery 

Recent earthquake and natural disaster responses, including Pakistan and Haiti and Indonesia


Key Gender Issues in the South Asia Earthquake Response (IASC Taskforce on Gender and Humanitarian Assistance, 2006)

Gender Mainstreaming in the Haiti Earthquake Response (Gender in Humanitarian Response Working Group, 2010)

Urban Disaster Response and Recovery Gender-sensitive WASH programming in postearthquake Haiti (Oxfam, 2014)

The Health Needs of Women in the Pakistan Earthquake (Issue 34 Humanitarian Exchange Magazine, July 2006)

Dalit Women leading disaster preparedness efforts in Nepal (Tess Dico-Young, Oxfam, 2012)

Checklist to facilitate gender sensitivity of relief and reconstruction efforts for survivors of the earthquake in Pakistan (Gender Task Force, 2006)

Members of the gender task force were: UNFPA, IOM, CIDA, DfiD, Rozan, UNAIDS, Royal Netherlands Embassy, World Vision International, ICMC, GTZ and Action Aid.

Post-Earthquake Response and Reconstruction: Gender-sensitive advocacy in Indonesia (Oxfam, 2012)

Checklist to facilitate Gender Sensitivity of Relief and Reconstruction efforts for Survivors of the Earthquake in Pakistan (Rozan, 2006)

The 2005 Kashmir Earthquake- A Perspective on Womens Experiences (Jennifer Parker Hamilton and Sarah Halvorson, University of Montana, 2007)


These resources will be added to in the coming week - if you have resources you would like to share, please email us at contact@thegenderagency.org.


Watch for these updates on The Gender Agency blog:

  • The role of women’s rights organisations in leading relief and recovery efforts in Nepal
  • Gender-responsive Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA)
  • Gender and Early Recovery Planning in Nepal

Have something to contribute? Want to share your thoughts? Please get in touch at contact@thegenderagency.org

The Gender Agency



Building Another New Nepal 

In 2007, The Gender Agency worked in Gorkha and Sindhuli Districts in Nepal with the Institute for Human Rights Communication in Nepal (IHRICON), immediately following the ten year long armed conflict and signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) in November 2006. Working with human rights defenders and civil society activists engaged in community peacebuilding and human rights awareness, women and women’s rights networks and organisations were actively and effectively engaged in organising and leading their communities and the nation towards a ‘New Nepal’. As the nation now faces the devastating impacts and immense task of rebuilding yet another New Nepal, addressing the particular needs of women, men, boys and girls and ensuring that women’s roles in designing, leading and advising relief and recovery efforts will be essential for ensuring that the long term humanitarian response is effective and accountable. 


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‘Visioning a New Nepal’ - Human rights activists and defenders from Gorkha and Sindhuli Districts studying human rights and women’s rights Conventions, Declarations and Resolutions as part of rights awareness training in preparation for the 2007 elections in Nepal as the country turned to rebuilding after the decade-long conflict (March, 2007). Credit: Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency

Women in Gorkha (2007)

‘Visioning a New Nepal’ - Human rights activists and defenders from Gorkha and Sindhuli Districts envision what their post-conflict society can and should look like as the country turned to rebuilding after the decade-long conflict (March, 2007). Credit: Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency


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Women in Gorkha District Headquarters meet to hear and discuss each other’s priorities in the upcoming elections (March, 2007). Credit: Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency

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Women in Gorkha District Headquarters meet to hear and discuss each other’s priorities in the upcoming elections (March, 2007). Credit: Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency


Women in Gorkha District Headquarters (March, 2007). Credit: Sarah Boyd, The Gender Agency