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Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies

November 2018

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies (2018) is in its second edition. The first pilot version of the IFRC Minimum standard commitments to gender and diversity in emergency programming was published in 2015. The pilot version has been tested globally by Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, volunteers and management in low-, medium- and high-scale disasters and humanitarian crises. This edition is the result of three years of testing, revision and feedback from protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) and sectoral specialists. New chapters, such as cash-based interventions, have been added as well as a stronger focus on sexual and gender-based violence and disability inclusion to align with the commitments of the IFRC and its member National Societies. This edition is accompanied by the IFRC Protection, gender and inclusion in emergencies toolkit (2018–2019).

This guidance presents Red Cross and Red Crescent staff, members and volunteers with a set of minimum standards for protection, gender and inclusion (PGI) in emergencies. It aims to ensure that the emergency programming of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and National Societies provides dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.

It provides practical guidance on how to mainstream these four principles in all sectors, based on a consideration of gender, age, disability and other diversity factors. This includes limiting people’s exposure to the risks of violence and abuse and ensuring that emergency programmes “do no harm”.

The standards address protection, gender and inclusion concerns by providing practical ways to engage with all members of the community, respond to their differing needs and draw on their capacities in the most non-discriminatory and effective way. This helps to ensure that local perspectives guide assistance delivery. The standards also support incorporation of the seven Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Education for all : or just those easier to reach?


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"This report examines the extent to which issues of gender and disability are considered in the design, development and monitoring of education programs undertaken by AusAID, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. This is examined through a dual analytical approach involving assessment of institutional education policy and design documents to determine gender and disability policies and priorities, coupled with a review of operational documents ie: planning documents, evaluation reports and independent evaluation documents"

Sexual-health communication across and within cultures : the clown project, Guatemala

SAVDIE, Anthony
June 2009

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This paper puts forward an argument in favour of careful and critical analysis of culture in formulating communication strategies with and for specific groups, based on experience drawn from the Clown Project in Guatemala and other countries in Central America. The Clown Project uses labour-intensive face-to-face street theatre and dialogue, participatory workshops, and symbolic communication such as print-based material to reach those most vulnerable to the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS . The analysis takes into account relations of power within and between vulnerable groups, examining the centre-periphery dynamic between classes, genders, ethnicities, age groups, and other social identities. Both appropriately supported insider perspectives and appropriately processed outsider knowledge are recommended, along with ways of bridging science and the field, theory and practice

Walking the talk : putting women's rights at the heart of the HIV and AIDS response

et al

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This report argues the need to adopt a rights-based approach to counter gender inequality, violence against women and other violations of women’s rights, in order to combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic effectively. It explores obstacles to universal access to prevention, treatment, care and support for all women and girls. It illustrates the ongoing violations of women’s rights by the actions and inactions of those setting policies, providing funding, offering services and implementing programmes. It further provides working solutions and best practices for overcoming those obstacles. These strategies were gathered through research studies conducted in 13 countries: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, South Africa, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe

Gender, sexuality, rights and HIV : an overview for community sector organizations

SHARMA, Upasana

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This is a summary of a desk-based literature review that examines the factors that contribute to the vulnerability and risk of HIV infection in men, women, and men-who-have-sex-with-men. It is a resource for NGOs and Community Based Organisations to build a greater understanding of how gender and sexuality determine vulnerability to HIV. It also highlights major human rights declarations, treaties and recommendations that can be used by individuals and associations to advocate for their rights and hold decision makers accountable to their commitments

Young children, HIV/AIDS and gender : a summary review

BHANA, Deevia
BRIXEN, Farhana Farook

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(From forward) Studies point to the existence of a global HIV/AIDS emergency among young people. An estimated 6,000 youths a day become infected, an average of one new infection every 14 seconds. The most socially and economically disadvantaged young people appear to be especially at risk of infection, and young women in developing contexts are at the greatest risk. The rate of HIV infection among girls is rapidly outstripping the rate among boys. Girls already account for nearly 60 percent of the infections in sub-Saharan Africa, where the pandemic is most virulent. This paper adopts the hypothesis that this pandemic can be confronted already in early childhood. During the first eight years of life the foundations are set for the capacities, beliefs and attitudes that support individuals in later life. In early childhood, people can therefore more easily learn and integrate appropriate risk avoidance behaviours that may prove useful in the global war on HIV/AIDS. The earliest years may represent a window of opportunity for the successful implementation of HIV/AIDS reduction and prevention programmes

Operational guide on gender and HIV/AIDS : a rights-based approach | Resource pack on gender and HIV/AIDS


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This guide highlights the relationship between gender, rights and HIV and AIDS. The impact of HIV and AIDS tends to be greater in unequal settings and stigma and discrimination, often associated with the disease, intensify and reinforce inequality. This document, aimed at programme managers and development organisations, reflects on how gender inequality affects women affected by HIV and AIDS. It explains why women may be at greater risk of contracting the disease, while having poor access to treatment. Women also tend to assume the responsibility of caring for those who are sick, and girls in households affected by HIV are more likely than boys to be taken out of school as a cost-saving measure, and to help in domestic chores. The guide contains a set of checklists to help evaluate the level of commitment to gender equality in programming, funding, communication, networking and advocacy

How to integrate gender into HIV/AIDS programs : using lessons learned from USAID and partner organizations

HUNTLEY, Blakley
May 2004

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This manual offers field-based insights on how to integrate gender into HIV and AIDS programmes, in a practical sense. The ability to address gender issues is central to the success of programmes and reducing women and men’s vulnerability to HIV and its impacts. It has been written for programme managers and policymakers and provides an overview of how gender affects HIV and AIDS vulnerability and programme responses; identifies recommendations and promising interventions for integrating gender related to specific areas of HIV and AIDS programming; and highlights key gaps and emerging issues

Women, girls and HIV/AIDS : vulnerabilities and opportunities [whole issue]


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Examines the factors that make women vulnerable to HIV. Articles look at gender and human rights dimensions of HIV/AIDS; the situation of migrant women; and interlinking factors that lure young Cambodian women to work in other places, and increases their risk for HIV infection. There are also articles on research into microbicides and the advocacy of the Global Coalition of Women and AIDS

Working with men, reponding to AIDS : gender sexuality and HIV. A case study collection

November 2003

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This case study collection aims to help projects working with men in order to have an impact on the HIV epidemic. It presents experiences and lessons from a range of different projects that involve men, gender identity, sexuality or related issues, offering inspiration, ideas and models for working with different kinds of men in a deliberately broad range of contexts

Orphans and vulnerable children in India : understanding the context and the response

ANASTASI, Marie-Christine
June 2003

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A report from a meeting for exchange and learning between organisations working with orphans and vulnerable children in India, looking community responses to working with this group. The experience of Plan International, Palmyrah Workers Development Society and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance was presented to the meeting. Specific responses to working with orphans and vulnerable children discussed in the report include lessons from a child participatory approach, prevention of mother-to-child transmission and the development of community action

HIV and AIDS and disability

NARIB, Leitago D

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This report gives a general overview of HIV/AIDS and disability. It reports on the group discussions that took place during the conference on different types of disability and HIV/AIDS, demonstrating that the lack of access to information is a specific problem especially for visually impaired and hearing-impaired people. Different aspects of HIV/AIDS and disability were explored during the conference, including the production of HIV/AIDS materials and the inclusion or exclusion of disabled people within this process; HIV/AIDS and the workplace; minorities; gender issues; education; and organisations of disabled people. Discussions revealed that disabled people see HIV/AIDS not as a topic in itself, but as part of the bigger problem of marginalisation in general. The main recommendations arising from the conference were to establish a task force in the NFPDN to work on a programme on HIV/AIDS and disability, to network and cooperate with mainstream HIV/AIDS organisations, and to establish baseline data on HIV/AIDS

Gendering prevention practices : a practical guide to working with gender in sexual safety and HIV/AIDS awareness education


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This manual lays out eight sessions, each with an array of diverse learning activities, for capacity building to help participants grasp the implications of working with gender in HIV prevention. The session themes are: Perceptions of gender, Ways of Understanding Gender, Key aspects of Gender for HIV prevention, Sex as a Gendered Activity, Gender and HIV, Embodying Change, A Sense of Working Together, Reviewing Gender issues in Context

Integrating gender into HIV/AIDS programmes : a review paper


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This review paper provides background information and a suggested framework for considering the issues and challenges of integrating gender into programmatic and policy action. It also offers examples of successful HIV/AIDS interventions that have addressed gender issues in a meaningful and significant way

Gendering AIDS : women, men, empowerment, mobilisation


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This position paper explores the connections between gender inequality and HIV and AIDS. It draws on research conducted by VSO in South Africa, Namibia, India and Cambodia to understand the national and international-level policies on this issue, and the gap between policy and implementation. The research indicates three key areas where these issues can be addressed: the involvement of men in activities designed to reduce gender inequality and minimise the impact of HIV and AIDS; continued and sustained support of women's empowerment, including the implementation of existing policies and commitments; and addressing the immediate needs of women affected by HIV and AIDS, as carers, as people suffering from gender violence, and as individuals who need treatment for HIV and AIDS

Mobilising gender issues : report from the Living for Tomorrow project on youth, gender and HIV/AIDS prevention


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[Publisher's abstract] This is an overview of what this gender-focused, youth HIV prevention project undertook, the concerns it had to consider, and what issues it had to navigate. It discusses wider and more specific challenges faced in developing a strong educational focus on gender issues; describes the implementation of different stages and dimensions of the work - its vision, planning, building, designing and different actions undertaken to achieve its ends. It discusses outcomes and learning processes that came into focus. The report could be of interest for exploring the significance of gender HIV/AIDS and sexual safety work with young people. Appendices include documents used in project, that illustrate concrete strategies (Capacity Building, Youth Workshops, evaluation etc.)

HIV/AIDS- related stigma and discrimination: a conceptual framework and an agenda for action

PARKER, Richard
et al

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This paper argues the need for a new way of thinking about stigma and discrimination that acknowledges the processes that cause it and addresses them. It suggests a conceptual framework in which stigma and discrimination are seen as social processes designed to produce and reproduce inequalities and maintain social control, rather than as individual actions. It argues that under this framework there is a need for new approaches to research and for programme developments and interventions that engage societies, communities and people who experience stigma and discrimination, while also acknowledging that this needs to be accompanied by laws and policies that protect the rights of people living with HIV and those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic



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