Gender mainstreaming: a lasting solution to disaster risk reduction
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Disasters threaten resources as well as displace millions of people globally. It is undisputable that disasters have gender dimensions. However, most African countries are still lagging behind as far as the holistic integration of gender mainstreaming into national policies, particularly on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). The purpose of this article was to unpack the consequence of overlooking gender in DRR, thereby highlighting its importance. The study followed a comparative study design, by using two case studies of Mumbwa District in Zambia and Chivi District in Zimbabwe. The specific objectives were to examine the disaster risks in both Mumbwa and Chivi districts, analyse the DRR strategies used in both districts and highlight the critical success factors derived from gender mainstreaming in DRR in these cases. Findings showed that gender mainstreaming is not only an important tool in DRR but also a sustainable development initiative. Despite challenges faced by countries in DRR, gender mainstreaming should always be considered as their first line of action in DRR.