Gender Equality Measures in Protection

Download the Protection Tip Sheet

This Tip Sheet offers interventions, guiding questions and an example of how 4 Key Gender Equality Measures (GEMs) support gender equality in Protection projects and programs.   It should be read together with the GAM Overview.  The IASC GAM identifies and codes projects based on the extent to which key programming elements are consistently present in proposals and implemented projects.  Four steps (GEMs) are assessed in the design phase, and twelve GEMs are reviewed in monitoring.

Women, girls, boys and men all face different risks and potential rights violations in conflict and disasters.  Protection projects can be made more fair and responsive with the following steps:

  • Prioritize safety & dignity: identify and address physical and psychosocial risks most likely for different groups;
  • Arrange equitable access to services, in proportion to need and levels of risk, by by all gender and age groups without discrimination;
  • Set up and maintain appropriate mechanisms for all affected gender and age groups to provide feedback and get help;
  • Ensure participation and empowerment: support women, girls, boys and men in different age groups to protect themselves and claim their rights, including freedom from harm and the rights to shelter, food, water and sanitation, health, and education.
  • Monitor the benefits received by women and men, girls and boys, and compare this to the analysis of needs and priorities of the different groups.

Questions to inspire action:


Gender mainstreaming, or a targeted action?

Some protection interventions may target actions to address specific discriminations or gaps resulting from gender norms or expectations (Targeted Actions/T).   For example, a project may focus solely on working with adolescent girls who survived sexual violence, or a project may focus on supporting women to own land in their own right.

However, the majority of humanitarian interventions will aim to assist everyone in need while considering and adapting activities to meet the different priorities and needs of different groups (Gender Mainstreaming/M).  An example would be a project providing information about protection activities and services for women and men, girls and boys in different age groups.   The GAM Overview explains coding in more detail.

Example of Good Gender Equality Programming in shelter

(GAM Code 4(T) – can you work out why? See the GAM Overview)


Using Gender Equality Measures in projects or cluster programs leads to better quality programming, responsive to gender and age issues.