The number and magnitude of disasters are currently increasing and climate change is expected to increase the severity and frequency of weather-related natural hazards such as storms, high rainfalls, floods, droughts, landslides, water stress and heat-waves. Coupled with global warming caused sea level rise, such phenomena will lead to more disasters in the future – unless prompt action is taken. These inter-related events make the need for effective disaster risk reduction even greater and more immediate.

Disasters come to disrupt a functioning community or society, causing human, material, economic and environmental losses, in sum, affecting human development as a whole. Studies on the impacts of disasters have shown that inequalities in social relations, economic assets and political power exacerbate human vulnerabilities, as a result, the impact of disasters worsens the unequal conditions faced by women, children, indigenous peoples and the elders, among others.

The Global Senior Gender Advisor of IUCN and the Secretariat of ISDR (International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) have joint efforts to mainstream the gender equity and equality perspective into the DRR, based on the principal mandate in relation to gender equality and empowerment of women included in the Hyogo Framework for Action, which evolved from the World Conference on Disaster reduction in Kobe, Japan (2005).