Remarks by SRSG Mizutori at the General Debate of the Commission on the Status of Women

Author

Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction 

Source(s)
United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

General Debate – Commission on the Status of Women  

As Delivered 

Excellencies,  

A few weeks ago, the IPCC released their latest report with unsettling findings. 

Disasters, which have doubled over the last 20 years, could conceivably double again.  

We could see the number of extreme temperature events triple, and some climate damage could soon become irreversible.  

Keenly aware of these scenarios, UNDRR will continue to emphasize an all-of-society approach to disaster risks, because we must have all hands on deck to build resilience.  

Times of crisis require as much energy, dedication, and resources as possible. 

And we are indeed dealing with a crisis.  

When we talk about women and girls vis-à-vis disaster risk reduction, we are looking at two sides of a coin.  

On one side is pervasive gender inequality, which means that women and girls are affected disproportionately when disaster strikes.  

On the other side is the often under-mobilized and undervalued capability and skill set women can offer.  

To redress these imbalances, women and girls need to become empowered, problem-solving agents of change for resilience.  

This not only benefits women and girls, but everyone.  

The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction calls for gender-responsive disaster risk reduction and the mobilization of women’s leadership in building resilience.  

I urge governments to engage women and girls in implementing the Sendai Framework, including in developing national and local disaster risk reduction strategies.  

Only then will these strategies be more gender-responsive, addressing the structural inequalities that underly drivers of risk.  

Part of understanding the root causes of vulnerability and the gendered nature of risk means gathering and disaggregating data.  

To date, 50 countries have reported some form of sex disaggregated data in the Sendai Framework Monitor system.  

Moving forward, we hope this number increases to strengthen our understanding of disasters gender differentiated impact.  

UNDRR stands ready to support Member States in this process. 

Looking ahead, the 2022 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction soon takes place in Bali, Indonesia.  

As a multi-stakeholder event, it provides an opportunity to ensure that women’s voices are heard.  

It is also an important step on the way to the 2022 High-level Political Forum, where the work of the CSW must feed into the review of SDG 5. 

Ultimately, we are looking for risk-informed and gender-responsive implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

As a final note, UNDRR has already begun consultations for the Midterm Review of the Sendai Framework, which will culminate in a High-level Meeting in New York in May 2023. 

The Midterm Review provides an opportunity for Member States to assess gender-responsive implementation of the Sendai Framework.  

We hope that through this process, we will make any necessary course adjustments, which in turn will help accelerate achieving the SDGs.  

Fundamentally, the Goals around gender equality and disaster risk reduction are mutually reinforcing. 

Equal access on opportunities leads to better disaster risk reduction, and strong disaster risk reduction supports gender equality. 

Both sets of stakeholders can work together on creating a new coin with equality on one side and empowerment on the other. 

Thank you. 

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