Addressing Gender Equality Essential To Building Resiliency In Sahel Region

Devex: Ebola, tsunamis, and droughts — how gender inequality undermines community resilience
Sahar Alnouri, senior gender adviser at Mercy Corps

“Up to three out of four people who contract the deadly Ebola virus are women. Nearly two out of three people who died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami were female. And women in Mali are widely seen as bearing the greatest burden during times of hardship and crisis. … Knowing that shocks such as these affect gender groups differently, Mercy Corps conducted research between June 2013 and January 2014 to explore the relationship of gender dynamics and resilience building [in the Sahel region]. … A gender-integrated approach that empowers women and girls — while also engaging men and boys — will be crucial for achieving long-term, positive change and transforming deeply entrenched inequality in the Sahel. In short, by addressing gender inequality, the Sahel will become more resilient to the many hardships it faces” (9/16).