UN Women for East and Southern Africa and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), together with an array of humanitarian and development partners, will host a regional ShareFair on Gender and Resilience, on 9-10 November 2016 in Nairobi, Kenya. The ShareFair will share ways to effectively integrate gender in resilience-related programs, policies and practices, and model an innovative way for multidisciplinary teams to work together, putting gender at the center of the resilience agenda.
Multiple and Interlinked Challenges to Resilience in the Horn of Africa
Most countries in the HoA are characterized by numerous resilience challenges. Repeated shocks and chronic stresses challenge development gains, and overwhelm traditional coping mechanisms.
- Climate Impacts: Many countries in the HoA experience regular droughts and other natural hazards, and are characterized by food insecurities, economic losses, and large-scale population displacement. Tensions are heightened as vulnerable populations compete for access to critical and increasingly scarce livelihood resources.
- Effective of Large-Scale Refugee and IDP Crisis: The HoA hosts one of the largest, longstanding refugee and displaced populations in the world (about 3 million refugees and more than 8 million displaced persons in the region). Local communities are affected by the large influx of displaced persons and refugees, further testing local resilience.
- Conflict and Insecurity: The HoA is threatened by conflicts and terrorism, undermining livelihood security, agricultural production and economic growth as well health and psychosocial well-being.
Key Issues to be Addressed by the ShareFair
Although shocks strike without discrimination, the lack of gender-integration in current development approaches, imbalanced access to resources and uneven division of responsibilities severely tests the resilience of particularly women and girls. Gender-based inequalities in access to and control of productive financial resources continue to slow down agricultural productivity and undermine resilience efforts. This has huge impacts in a society where women are already largely marginalized. In times of shock, women’s role in providing food and care for the family
becomes more critical, while women’s challenges become harder due to existing gender-specific barriers. All of these factors point to the need for a strategy that strengthens women’s individual resilience and empowers women to claim their rights in development planning and programming, while strengthening the capacities of Government and Partners to enhance community resilience in affected countries.
ShareFair Purpose and Results
UN Women and IGAD seek to build on two consecutive years of knowledge sharing and generating ShareFairs (2014 on rural technologies for women; 2015 gender in extractive
industries) that were widely successful in building partnerships, consensus and advocating for programmatic inspiration. The 2016 Sharefair focuses on the role of women in building and strengthening resilience, promoting dialogue and sharing of experiences on gender-responsive resilience-related programmes and policies in Africa. Uniquely, the Sharefair situates women’s perspectives at the hearth of resilience, identifying innovative solutions. The Sharefair will create synergies and allow for collaborative, scaled-up solutions to build resilient communities, with the interests of vulnerable women at the center. Key deliverables from the Sharefair include:
- Creating an accessible repository of indicators and metrics related to gender and resilience;
- Develop a Joint Theory of Change that will help Sharefair participants develop a clear action plan for building women’s resilience and accelerating the implementation of SDGs;
- Deepened partnerships among humanitarian and development partners, including government, civil society, donors and beneficiaries;
- Provide a cutting-edge forum for multi-stakeholder/sector engagement and research, building on the most advanced specialized work on gender and resilience.
- Expand Evidence Base, show-casing solutions for developing and scaling up South-South Collaboration;
- Identifying solutions on how women and communities can build, strengthen and scale up resilient technologies and associated innovative methods.
Other main partners for the Sharefair are UN Women and IGAD, together with ACORD, FAO, GROOTS Kenya, IFAD, IOM, OCHA, SEI, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNEP, UNICEF, UN HABITAT, UNHCR, UNISDR and WFP. Representatives from UN Country offices, governments, civil society, academia and the private sector are also closely involved in the ShareFair’s design and implementation.
Resource Mobilization and Partner Support:
UN Women and IGAD are seeking support from a range of country, regional, and international partners to ensure inclusive participation and the effective implementation of the 2016 Sharefair on Gender and Resilience. Donors are needed to provide financial, in-kind and/or technical expertise. For more information or if your organization would like to support the ShareFair, please contact Flavia Ciribello, UN Women Programme Associate firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn about the dual call for papers and innovations to be presented at the ShareFair, see the event announcement here.