Skip to main content


Back to Resources

Gender and Private Security Regulation

27 February, 2020



This Policy Brief is part of the DCAF, OSCE/ODIHR, UN Women Gender and Security Toolkit.

It explains why integrating a gender perspective is important to the regulation of private military and security companies (PMSCs) and provides guidance to States on doing so in national legislation, contracting and procurement policies, as well as certification, oversight and accountability frameworks for PMSCs.

The Policy Brief:

  • outlines what PMSCs are and the role of States in their regulation

  • explains why a gender perspective is needed for effective regulation of PMSCs

  • presents a range of priorities and entry points for States to integrate a gender perspective in regulation of PMSCs.

The Policy Brief is aimed at legislators and policy-makers who seek to strengthen their national regulatory frameworks for the PMSC industry. It is also intended to support ministries and other statutory offices responsible for contracting, procurement and certification, as well as oversight and accountability of PMSCs. This Brief will also be useful for civil society actors monitoring the impacts of PMSCs’ operations, including human rights defenders and groups working to achieve the goals of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda. Moreover, this Policy Brief can be used by PMSCs themselves to check and improve their policies and procedures related to gender equality.

The Policy Brief sets out how can States integrate a gender perspective in the regulation of PMSCs through:

  • Regulating PMSCs in a consultative manner.

  • Establishing a national PMSC regulatory authority with gender expertise.

  • Integrating a gender perspective in the licensing requirements for PMSCs.

  • Integrating a gender perspective in procurement and contracting of PMSCs’ services.

  • Ensuring effective grievance (complaints) mechanisms, paying attention to sexual exploitation and abuse and gender-based violence.

  • Integrating a gender perspective in the State oversight and monitoring of PMSCs.


Megan Bastick, DCAF