International Winter School - Gender equality and resilience to disasters and climate risks: Future research and action agenda(s)

  • By BRACED Knowledge Manager
  • 15/03/2019

International Winter School

Gender equality and resilience to disasters and climate risks: Future research and action agenda(s)

1 - 5 July 2019

Cape Town, South Africa



A gender perspective brings multiple, complex and important questions when working in humanitarian and development projects that aim to reduce and respond to disaster risks, such as: why is menstruation still a taboo subject, even in the development sector? How does violence and insecurity aggravate the vulnerability of poor urban and rural women in flood-prone areas? What are the dilemmas faced by men who don’t conform to discriminatory social norms? How to best support women to claim their equal rights to earn an income, own their house or the land they cultivate so that they can better adapt to the impacts of climate change? When will countries finally protect girls from forced marriage, early pregnancies and other forms of violence? Why is it still so difficult to obtain gender-disaggregated data? What specific issues, challenges and opportunities exist in different geographical contexts to enable gender equality and resilience to disasters and climate risks?

There is much being done to address these issues: studies are exploring the equity dimension of disaster risk reduction; trainings are being delivered to raise awareness of gender inequalities within NGOs; funding is allocated to projects that support women’s organisations; and innovative campaigns continually advocate for the rights of women, girls and social groups who are discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, age or ethnicity.

Yet, this wealth of knowledge and experience is not always shared beyond projects’ immediate circles of influence. Activists, academics, practitioners and donors across sectors and disciplines do not often get together to collectively exchange feedback, share experiences or identify knowledge gaps on the issue of gender inequalities, which is needed to strategically support people’s resilience in contexts of poverty and disaster risks. This International Winter School aims to do exactly that; bring together experts and non-experts across different disciplines and backgrounds to share knowledge and improve global responsiveness to gender equality in the face of disaster risks, climate change and conflicts.

Objectives of the Winter School

  • Create a dialogue between non-gender specialists and experts from different fields; across disciplines, languages and countries to debate ideas on how to better tackle gender inequalities
  • Connect people from different spheres of influence (research, grassroot activism, humanitarian project) to ignite synergies
  • Learn new information from other’s work, initiatives and contexts
  • Learn and share new skills to further one’s own and others’ research and/or practice
  • Understand the work of humanitarian and development practitioners on the ground and how they integrate issues of gender justice
  • Reflect on knowledge gaps in both social and natural sciences and information needed by development practitioners, policy makers and donors to foster equitable sustainability
  • Go beyond a ‘talking shop’ to begin to map out an action agenda

Participation at the Winter School is by invite-only in order to keep discussions inclusive, focused and productive. We will be sharing lessons and all the resources from the event on the BRACED website and Twitter account – please do follow us to hear outcomes of this workshop and find relevant material on this topic. 

Practical information

The International Winter School will be hosted at the Vineyard hotel, Cape Town, South Africa. The Vineyard hotel is certified by Fair Trade Tourism for its commitment to fair wages and working conditions, fair distribution of benefits, ethical business practice and respects for human rights, culture and the environment. As well as providing accommodation, the Vineyard will also host the Winter School for four days. In addition, we are delighted to be hosted for one day at the Sustainability Institute established at Lynedoch EcoVillage, a space for people to explore an approach to creating a more equitable society. 

Provisional agenda

  • Day 1 (1st July) - Making Inequalities Visible: Gaining information, collecting gender disaggregated data, conducting gender analyses, building and sharing evidence
  • Day 2 (2nd July) - Improving Health, Safety & Wellbeing: Unequal access to basic services and livelihoods, different vulnerabilities to disasters & climate change
  • Day 3 (3rd July) - Re-thinking Engineering & Infrastructures: Gender responsive infrastructure and planning – making cities, towns and villages work for all; before, during and after disaster.
  • Day 4 (4th July) - Advocating for Social Justice, Equality & Equity: Inclusion, participation, and leadership of all social categories, including intersecting axes of difference and complex identities.
  • Day 5 (5th July) - Gender & Intersectionality in Future Research and Action: Collectively build a strategic research agenda

Each day will be a combination of panel presentations, guest lectures, skills training, group activities and site visits. The final agenda will be tailored according to participants’ backgrounds and contributions. Each participant is invited to be alternatively a teacher, learner and discussion facilitator.


Simultaneous translation in French and English will be provided throughout the week. All participants are encouraged to be mindful of best ways to communicate and share information with people from different language and education backgrounds.


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