A 5-day Gender in Humanitarian Action Train the Trainer workshop was hosted in Port Vila by the Department of Women’s Affairs in partnership with UN Women last week.

“This training is the first of its kind in Vanuatu and by the end of the week we will have the tools to integrate gender equality into humanitarian response,” commented Director General of Ministry of Justice and Community Services, Dorosday Kenneth Watson at the opening ceremony.

The Director General added that “we are working on gender equality and climate change issues within the Paris Agreement and Conference of the Parties and this training organized by the Gender and Protection Cluster is important to help us to achieve our joint commitments within humanitarian programming”.

A key theme of the week was partnership and participants shared their knowledge, experiences and recommendations for how to mainstream gender equality and protection into preparedness, response and recovery across all sectors. Cyclone season has now commenced and participants commented that they felt more equipped with resources to ensure that the needs of different groups were included in the response. A key learning from the workshop was how factors such as age, disability, income level, access to decision making and education status can impact men, women, girls and boys differently during and after disasters.

The training was facilitated through a partnership approach by Department of Women’s Affairs, UN Women and CARE and topics included why gender equality is essential in humanitarian action, gender integrated humanitarian response, gender needs assessments and analysis, strategic planning, resource mobilization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The week ended with action planning and the participants are excited to roll this training out to the provincial level and across other sectors.

“This training is very important and will be very helpful for the provincial level as Vanuatu is prone to natural disasters. The tools will help us to conduct gender needs assessments across sectors to identify the needs of men, women, girls and boys in the community and how we should design our response plans,” said Lilgai Laliet, the Department of Women’s Affairs Shefa Desk Officer.

Participants came from organisations including Department of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Justice Child and Disability Desks, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Act for Peace, Action Aid, ADRA, CARE, Oxfam, Tongoa Disability Committee, Vanuatu Disability Promotion and Advocacy, V Pride, Vanuatu Christian Council, Vanuatu Society for People with Disabilities, Vanuatu Red Cross Society, Vanuatu Women’s Centre, World Vision.

Participants were invited from the provincial and national level and Vijinaia Valaua Lele, the Malampa Disability Desk Officer commented, “this training has helped me to prepare with partners for future response, to know what key gender questions to ask and what to monitor during and after an emergency”.