Due to different definitions used in disaster-related literature, for the purpose of this Toolkit the main terms used are defined below. The full Glossary can also be downloaded in a .pdf format (see User Guide Section).
A set of behavioural norms that are generally considered appropriate for either a man or a woman in a society, group, or interpersonal relationship. Gender roles are, typically, not based on inherent or natural gender differences, but more on stereotypes about the attitudes, traits, or behavioural patterns of women or men.
For example, in some groups or societies women are not allowed to leave their home without being accompanied by a male family member. This can place them in a vulnerable position if, due to a disaster, it is not safe to stay in the house but there is no male family member present to accompany them (e.g. to a rescue/assembly point) outside, and they feel they violate expected norms if they leave, e.g., with a male emergency worker. Conversely, women in some other groups or societies may be more sensitive than men towards societal/community concerns in general and, therefore, may be able (or available) to play a more active role in disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery.
Government is referred to national authorities responsible for the developing and functioning of disasters intervention institutions and structures.