Gender and Shelter

Australian Red Cross


This briefing paper looks at the importance of gender within Red Cross programmes and services and offers some suggestions about how Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies might better integrate gender into shelter programmes.

Click to download the document


Studies have shown that understanding differing gender needs, roles, cultural norms and capacities can assist planners in designing programmes that are both feasible and targeted toward those most vulnerable, and therefore more likely to improve the lives of the affected populations.

To incorporate gender into the planning and implementation of shelter programmes:

men and women should be consulted during the assessment and planning phase to ensure their privacy and safety needs are met;

programmes need to be designed to ensure equal access to shelter and that women are not fully reliant on men to fulfil their shelter needs;

confidential access to health care facilities must be ensured for women needing support for specific hygiene needs and/or treatment for sexual violence;

the proximity of the shelter to vital resources such as fuel, water, food and sources of livelihood/employment must be considered.

Usage: Guidance for project implementation

Themes: Gender-based violence, Health, Shelter, Gender

Geographic scope: Region-wide

Audiences: Technical staff; Gender and diversity practitioners

Resource type: Guideline

Click to download the document.

Related links.