Protection, Gender and Inclusion

For the IFRC to remain true to our principles, we must ensure we reach all people effectively and in a non-discriminatory and equitable manner. Our work must ensure dignity, access, participation and safety for all people affected by disasters and crises.

What is protection, gender and inclusion?

Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI) describes the IFRC's approach and way of working to address the causes, risks and consequences of violence, discrimination and exclusion in an integrated way.

People affected by disasters can have very different experiences. A person’s sex, gender identity, age, physical ability, race, nationality and many other factors can influence how they are vulnerable to, and affected by disasters, conflicts and crises. They can also affect how they respond and recover.

Emergencies can also make existing inequalities worse. This can be seen in the increase in incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), violence against children and trafficking in human beings during and after emergencies.

  • Protection means addressing violence and keeping people safe from harm.
  • Gender and diversity is about addressing discrimination and understanding people's different needs, risks and capacities
  • Inclusion means actively addressing exclusion by meaningfully involving and engaging excluded people in our work.

Our work

The IFRC considers issues of protection, gender and inclusion in everything we do.

At the heart of the PGI approach is an analysis of how each individual is affected differently by shocks and crises. We respond to these shocks by jointly addressing risks of violence, discrimination, and exclusion. Examples of this work include:

  • making sure women and girls have access to safe menstrual hygiene resources during emergencies
  • ensuring that facilities, goods and services are easily accessible for all people
  • taking special measures around physical, economic and information access and addressing any issues of discrimination

We also run specialized programmes that aim to protect and include people, such as child protection, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention and response and anti-trafficking initiatives, and social inclusion initiatives for marginalized groups.

Principles guiding our PGI work

Learn more

A Red Cross Society of China volunteer runs a wheelchair shadowboxing session with members of his community following the Sichuan Earthquake in 2013

Disability inclusion

One billion people worldwide live with some form of disability. We are increasing participation of persons with disabilities in our work and promoting disability-inclusive practices.

A woman in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh sits inside her home where she lives  and receives support from the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society having fled Rakhine state, Myanmar in 2017

Sexual and gender-based violence

Disasters cause stress in families and communities, and this can often result in a higher level of sexual and gender-based violence.

Three Brazilian Red Cross volunteers hug as they walk together in Jucurucu, Bahia State in January 2022 where they are delivering food packages and providing psychosocial support to local communities.

Do no harm

The IFRC is deeply committed to creating a safe, respectful and dignified environment for the communities we serve and for all our volunteers and staff.

Online courses

Introduction to Protection, Gender and Inclusion

This course will help you learn basic knowledge about Protection, Gender and Inclusion (PGI), better identify people’s needs and capacities, and gain confidence in how to use and consider PGI in your work. Available in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian and Chinese.

PGI in disaster and crisis

This short training offers an introduction to PGI issues and the different needs and experiences of people affected by emergencies. Available in English.

Related documents

Watch: Examples of our PGI work in action