TF3-Inclusion: Gender, age and disability

Transversal factsheets


Inclusion: Gender, age and disability

What is it?

The inequalities based on gender, disability, age or other factors of vulnerability or exclusion (gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc.), according to the contexts, hinder the access to humanitarian aid and to the benefits of development processes to certain group of people. It is important to identify various groups amongst the target population according to their different constraints, roles, needs and capacities. Taking into account these factors will allow adapting the project (results and outcomes), its methodologies (i.e. programming), processes, targeting (definition of target groups, addressing together/separated) and accessibility (to location and to information).

What FOR?

A project which does not integrate in a conscious and systematic way an analysis of the inequalities related to the social relationship between the genders, age groups, and other exclusion factors, will not only be unable to reduce them, but holds high risk to accentuate them without knowing. Because these inequalities are structural, they are entrenched in the environment in which we act and in the way of acting of all the stakeholders of a project (including the beneficiaries). If not properly planned with these factors in mind, the project will not reach its results and outcomes.

Why Gender and Diversity Matter – from Gender and Mine Action Programme (GMAP)

“Mine action does not happen in a vacuum. It takes place in a context where there are differences and inequalities between women, men, boys and girls in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Mainstreaming gender within mine action policies, programmes and operations ensures that the contributions, concerns and needs of all members of affected communities are acknowledged and addressed without bias. It also benefits the community as a whole by ensuring a more coherent, holistic, multi-dimensional response to the different needs of mine-affected women, girls, boys and men. Gender mainstreaming in mine action is not only about equality, but also about quality.”[1]


By applying a constant non-discrimination principle: wherever the activities are, it is critical to understand who is being discriminated (gender, age, disability, ethnicity, religion, etc.) in order to restore the balance in the project activities. The method: systematically plan the activities through an inclusion lens, for both process and expected results.

For instance, during a survey:

  • On one hand, gather information from all: including woman, men, boys and girls to have an inclusive survey report;

  • On the other hand, plan properly on how to reach all of them: i.e. will women attend a night-time meeting? Will teenagers be in school during harvest season? Etc.


Photo credits

  1. J.M. Vargas / Handicap International