In most countries around the world, the different security and justice needs of men, women, boys and girls are not adequately being met. In addition, women and certain groups of men remain excluded from security decision-making and from participation in security sector institutions and oversight processes. DCAF has been working to support the integration of gender issues in security sector institutions and security sector reform (SSR) processes since 2003.
The integration of gender issues in SSR is recognised as key to strengthening the effective provision of justice and security services, oversight of the security sector and local ownership of SSR processes. For example, increasing the recruitment and promotion of female personnel, preventing human rights violations, and collaborating with women’s organisations contributes to creating an efficient, accountable and participatory security sector, which responds to the specific needs of men, women, girls and boys.
The international community has acknowledged the importance of a gender-responsive security sector, including in the Beijing Platform for Action and UN Security Council Resolutions 1325 (2000), 1820 (2008), 1888 (2009), 1889 (2009) and 1960 (2010).
DCAF’s Gender and Security Programme aims to:
- Support the creation of gender-sensitive security sector institutions.
- Encourage the effective and gender-sensitive oversight of security sector institutions by government ministries, parliament and civil society.
- Support external SSR actors, including regional and international organisations and donors, to mainstream gender into their SSR activities.
- Promote the full and equal participation of women in security institutions and in security sector governance.
- Facilitate linkages between the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions on women, peace and security, the prevention of gender-based violence, and SSR; and dialogue between the 'Women, Peace and Security' and SSR communities.
- Support the integration of actions to end violence against women, empower women as security sector actors and address the particular security needs of men and women in all DCAF activities.
DCAF strives to meet these objectives through a variety of interconnected activities on gender and SSR, including:
- Generating and distributing practical research and training resources
- Supporting institutional, national, regional and international policy development
- Conducting country and institutional assessments
- Supporting, developing and delivering training, training-of-trainers and capacity-building
- Facilitating and hosting workshops and conferences
- Providing technical expertise and input upon request.
DCAF’s Gender and Security Programme works in partnership with local, regional and international organisations, including women’s civil society organisations, security think-tanks, female security sector staff associations, armed forces, government ministries, parliaments, United Nations agencies, the OSCE and NATO.