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Gender mainstreaming in humanitarian purchasing

Kovács, Gyöngyi; Pazirandeh, Ala LU and Tatham, Peter (2011) 10th Horn of Africa Conference In Gender, peace and development
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

In the humanitarian context, gender mediates access to aid. The gender of the beneficiary is not only intrinsically linked with her/his disaster vulnerability (Enarson, 2002), but also to their ability to physically access aid distribution points (Lutz and Gady, 2004) and even to be considered a beneficiary in the first place. There is, however, yet another factor mitigating an individual’s access to aid: namely the humanitarian organization and its workers (Kovács and Tatham, 2009).



Particularly in the case of purchasing within humanitarian organizations, it is both the mainstreaming of gender among purchasers and as well as the use of the purchasing function itself to empower... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

In the humanitarian context, gender mediates access to aid. The gender of the beneficiary is not only intrinsically linked with her/his disaster vulnerability (Enarson, 2002), but also to their ability to physically access aid distribution points (Lutz and Gady, 2004) and even to be considered a beneficiary in the first place. There is, however, yet another factor mitigating an individual’s access to aid: namely the humanitarian organization and its workers (Kovács and Tatham, 2009).



Particularly in the case of purchasing within humanitarian organizations, it is both the mainstreaming of gender among purchasers and as well as the use of the purchasing function itself to empower women that deserve attention. In relation to the latter, humanitarian organizations have frequently adopted a strategy aimed at increasing the income, skills and influence of women in local communities by purchasing from them (UNOPS, 2010). In case of former, the gender of the purchaser has been linked to the quality of decision-making in, for example, deciding what products to buy and distribute to beneficiaries (Min et al., 1995). In particular, the gender of the decision maker affects their awareness of gender specific needs, and there is ample evidence of the wrong items being bought and of the needs of female beneficiaries not being considered sufficiently well in purchasing decisions. Examples of such failings include the provision of tents for refugee/IDP camps made of transparent materials that made it possible to detect females who were alone and, thus, exposed them to sexual violence; or the absence of hygiene items for females. Purchasing decisions are, thus, linked to the safety and hygiene, health and wellbeing the beneficiaries.



Gender is, therefore, an important aspect that purchasers in the humanitarian context need to consider - and yet it is an area of current practice that has frequently been overlooked. However, this is less surprising when one considers the gender ratios of purchasing decision-makers which, in the humanitarian context, can range from 70:30 up to 90:10 male to female. Thus, although gender mainstreaming is undoubtedly on the agenda of many humanitarian organizations, there is clear evidence that this strategic aim yet to be implemented in the area of purchasing. The aim of this research is, therefore, to improve the situation of beneficiaries through diverse and more gender-aware purchasing decisions. (Less)
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in
Gender, peace and development
editor
Jama, Abdillahi
conference name
10th Horn of Africa Conference
language
English
LU publication?
yes
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9922d8f4-d560-48dc-bfb9-599d175940f4 (old id 2426152)
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http://www.sirclund.se/Dokument/Conf2011.pdf#page=119
date added to LUP
2012-03-29 12:12:11
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:37:53
@inproceedings{9922d8f4-d560-48dc-bfb9-599d175940f4,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
In the humanitarian context, gender mediates access to aid. The gender of the beneficiary is not only intrinsically linked with her/his disaster vulnerability (Enarson, 2002), but also to their ability to physically access aid distribution points (Lutz and Gady, 2004) and even to be considered a beneficiary in the first place. There is, however, yet another factor mitigating an individual’s access to aid: namely the humanitarian organization and its workers (Kovács and Tatham, 2009). <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Particularly in the case of purchasing within humanitarian organizations, it is both the mainstreaming of gender among purchasers and as well as the use of the purchasing function itself to empower women that deserve attention. In relation to the latter, humanitarian organizations have frequently adopted a strategy aimed at increasing the income, skills and influence of women in local communities by purchasing from them (UNOPS, 2010). In case of former, the gender of the purchaser has been linked to the quality of decision-making in, for example, deciding what products to buy and distribute to beneficiaries (Min et al., 1995). In particular, the gender of the decision maker affects their awareness of gender specific needs, and there is ample evidence of the wrong items being bought and of the needs of female beneficiaries not being considered sufficiently well in purchasing decisions. Examples of such failings include the provision of tents for refugee/IDP camps made of transparent materials that made it possible to detect females who were alone and, thus, exposed them to sexual violence; or the absence of hygiene items for females. Purchasing decisions are, thus, linked to the safety and hygiene, health and wellbeing the beneficiaries. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Gender is, therefore, an important aspect that purchasers in the humanitarian context need to consider - and yet it is an area of current practice that has frequently been overlooked. However, this is less surprising when one considers the gender ratios of purchasing decision-makers which, in the humanitarian context, can range from 70:30 up to 90:10 male to female. Thus, although gender mainstreaming is undoubtedly on the agenda of many humanitarian organizations, there is clear evidence that this strategic aim yet to be implemented in the area of purchasing. The aim of this research is, therefore, to improve the situation of beneficiaries through diverse and more gender-aware purchasing decisions.},
  author       = {Kovács, Gyöngyi and Pazirandeh, Ala and Tatham, Peter},
  booktitle    = {Gender, peace and development},
  editor       = {Jama, Abdillahi},
  language     = {eng},
  title        = {Gender mainstreaming in humanitarian purchasing},
  year         = {2011},
}