Global Resources

Oxfam minimum standards for gender in emergencies

Publisher: Oxfam
Publication Date: Jan 2014
These minimum standards were originally developed for Oxfam staff to ensure a consistent approach to promoting gender equality in humanitarian preparedness and response programming. They are provided here as a tool for humanitarian programme practitioners, and as part of Oxfam’s commitment to transparency, sharing good practice and improving quality across the sector. The authors state that these standards should be referred to throughout the project cycle to inform planning, programme design and implementation, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning. The document features a list of tick-box recommendations, and a summary of key terms.

The minimum standards outlined cover four themes:
  • Promoting gender equality through internal practices: this includes ensuring appropriate allocation of resources for the promotion of gender equality; adequate organisational policies and mechanisms, including anti-sexual harassment HR policies; ensuring accountability of senior management for promoting gender equality; and the provision of staff, partner, and senior management trainings and reflections.
  • Gender analysis throughout the project cycle: this covers gender analysis to be included in contingency planning; the collection of sex- and age-disaggregated data; the design of culturally appropriate gender-sensitive programmes through consultation; the linking of programming with gender-related sustainable development objectives, including disaster risk reduction; and using gender analysis to inform the design and implementation of accountability and learning systems.
  • Participation, dignity and empowerment: ensure equal and safe access to meaningful participation throughout the project cycle; actively promote, using consultation, the empowerment of women and girls in programme design; and making men and boys allies in the work of redressing women's and girls' rights in emergencies.
  • Addressing gender-based violence and the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse: implement and monitor interventions to ensure safe programming for participants; advocate, where possible, for gender-sensitive policies and practices with communities and local authorities; and protect beneficiaries from sexual exploitation and abuse by staff and partners.