Purpose This study aims to identify levels of gender perception specific to disaster management process and gender-related factors among the health workers employed at can State Hospital, Turkey. Design/methodology/approach The study was carried out with a survey form consisting of 41 questions created by researchers with 207 health workers working at can State Hospital and by means of face-to-face interview technique. SPSS ver. 19.0 statistics software package was used in the research for analysis of data. Findings Of the participants, 70.24% had experienced a disaster before; 88.03% reported that women and men were equally affected by disasters and 72.94% reported that women and men were equally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the participants (70.29%) reported that the COVID-19 pandemic affected health workers of both genders equally. The health workers who consider that the disaster legislation is gender-sensitive, who have attended any disaster response training and who consider that women are included in the fragile/vulnerable group in disaster response activities have been found out to have significantly higher gender perception scores specific to disaster management process (p < 0.05). Most of the participants stated that both genders were affected equally by the disasters they experienced, which manifests that they adopted an egalitarian approach. Practical implications This study revealed the importance of providing disaster training for health workers to improve the gender perceptions. It is of high significance to integrate gender into the disaster trainings. Originality/value This study identifies and evaluates health workers' disaster-specific perceptions of gender, and necessary response activities can be performed accordingly.