Looking beyond gender in humanitarian interventions: a study of a drought-stricken region of Kenya
Slow-onset disasters such as droughts usually occur with such frequency that people have no time to recover before the onset of the next drought. All members of the community suffer as a result of recurrent droughts, but the effects are often more severe on vulnerable groups such as children, elderly people, and some women. This paper uses the experiences of the relief organisation Kujenga Maisha East Africa (KUMEA) to understand the importance of looking beyond gender in humanitarian interventions. Here we focus on the importance of understanding the socio-economic and political context surrounding the drought and the associated humanitarian interventions, using a feminist lens to assess power relations. This includes looking into the aspects of vulnerability and resourcefulness in the context of food security, food distribution, nutrition, and livelihood assistance. Such knowledge is vital in improving existing approaches to gender programming in humanitarian organisations.
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