The first UNESCO Chair for Gender and Vulnerability in Disaster Risk Reduction at Kobe University, Japan was launched on April 2018. This new Chair will help raise awareness on the importance of building disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and programs that are both gender sensitive and inclusive. The Chair works together with different international partner institutions, including MERCY Malaysia (Malaysia), Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia), National Kaohsiung Marine University (Taiwan), National Women’s Education Center (Japan), Network for International Development Cooperation (Thailand) and University Tunku Abdul Rahman (Malaysia).
This program looks at cases from the different countries, illustrating issues shared globally as well as those specific to particular regions. It will integrate not only fields traditionally central to DRR such as environmental sciences, urban governance and engineering, but also disciplines such as health science, peace studies, economics and law – making recommendations to international fora and disseminating its findings.
This initiative and its partnership are endorsed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). MERCY Malaysia is the only civil society organization in the partnership, and is expected to drive concrete examples in leveraging gender sensitive DRR and development effort for vulnerable communities across the Asia-Pacific region.