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Gender and SSR Research

Despite widespread recognition of the importance of integrating gender issues in SSR, there is a lack of resources on the topic. DCAF conducts and commissions research to identify needs, gather good practices and develop practical tools for practitioners, policymakers, civil society and security sector institutions.

Research publications 

Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit

In February 2008, DCAF published its groundbreaking Gender & Security Sector Reform Toolkit  in cooperation with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights  and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. Designed for policymakers and practitioners, the Toolkit:

  • Sets out why gender is important to SSR processes
  • Presents practical strategies to integrate gender into SSR
  • Includes examples of good practices from around the world
  • Provides material from which to develop training on gender issues
  • Compiles international laws and standards on gender relevant to SSR

Originally published in English, the Toolkit is now also available in French, Russian, Arabic, Montenegrin, and Bahasa Indonesia, and is being translated into Spanish. In addition, selected Tools and Practice Notes are available in Serbian, Albanian, Macedonian, Georgian and Dari. It is available in print format, online and as a CD ROM.

In 2010, responding to the adoption of the three new Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security, DCAF added a thirteenth Tool and Practice Note on “Implementing the Women, Peace and Security Resolutions in Security Sector Reform”.

Gender Self-Assessment Guide for the Police, Armed Forces and Justice Sector

Published in 2011, this self-assessment guide is a tool for assessing the gender responsiveness of a security sector institution. While it can be used by other security sector institutions, the guide is particularly designed for use by police services, armed forces and justice sector institutions, and those working with them.

Gender & Security Sector Reform Training Resource Package

The distribution of the Toolkit generated a substantial demand for capacity-building resources. To satisfy this demand, through 2009 and 2010 DCAF progressively released the Gender & SSR Training Resource Package , a series of practical materials to help integrate gender in SSR training and to deliver effective gender training to SSR audiences. The package is available only in electronic form, and is supported by an interactive Gender & SSR Training website: www.gssrtraining.ch.

Research for regional projects

DCAF’s regional gender and security projects in West Africa and the Western Balkans include research activities, such as assessments of gender and SSR in Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. Details of their publications are included on the webpages of the respective projects.

Research on gender-based violence

In 2007, DCAF published Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: Global Overview and Implications for the Security Sector. This report documents conflict-related sexual violence in fifty countries over the past twenty years, and explores strategies for security and justice actors to prevent and respond to sexual violence in armed conflict and post-conflict situations.

In 2005, DCAF published Women in an Insecure World: Violence Against Women — Facts, Figures and Analysis. This book is an extensive review of the problem and a collection of good practices to prevent and respond to violence against women. The book was published in English, French and Arabic and was the basis for a 2007 documentary and DVD Resource Package co-produced with Amnesty International in German, French and English.

Research for external and internal publications

DCAF staff is frequently asked to contribute its expertise on external and internal publications as authors, editors or reviewers. DCAF has authored several research products, such as Section 9 of the OECD-DAC Handbook on Security System Reform, “Integrating Gender Awareness and Equality ”, and Chapter 4 of the 2008 SIPRI Yearbook, “Integrating gender in post-conflict security sector reform ”.