Integrating Gender in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform
Author: Megan Bastick
Size: 28 pages (162kB)
This paper argues that Integrating gender into Security Sector Reform increases responsiveness to the security needs of all parts of the community, strengthens local ownership of reform and enhances security sector oversight. It finds that challenges to successfully integrating gender are similar to those that have hampered SSR in post-conflict contexts: an impatience to complete programmes, leading to insufficient local ownership; and assumptions that models that have been used elsewhere can be replicated without due regard to context.
SSR is a process of transformation, which brings opportunities – and responsibilities – to create more inclusive and less discriminatory security sector institutions. Attention to gender in SSR highlights the fact that the forms of insecurity experienced by men and women are different, reflecting social processes and structures. In post-conflict settings, the incidence of violence against women and children is often higher than preceding the conflict. Sexual and domestic violence continues and increases in the post-conflict period, fuelled by the availability of weapons, trauma among men, and lack of jobs, shelter and basic services.
Not only do women, men, boys and girls experience security differently; key challenges to state security are also linked to gender and require gender-responsive SSR. The links between masculinities, youth and gun violence, for example, are well-documented.
Those designing SSR processes need to be alert to gender issues and to be willing to undertake gender mainstreaming. Gender mainstreaming in SSR should ensure that a broad range of men and women are consulted and participate in SSR. Further:
Bastick, M., 2007, ‘Integrating Gender in Post-Conflict Security Sector Reform’, Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), Geneva
Organisation: Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF), http://www.dcaf.ch