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Tool 8: Integrating gender in security sector reform and governance

27 January, 2017



Tool 8  is designed to provide practitioners with basic guidance and entry points for more efficiently incorporating the aims and principles of gender equality at their respective levels and into their work and mandate.

The Tool proposes good practices and offers examples of methodologies for integrating gender into national legislation, policies, and budgets for security; into SSR programming; into the management of security institutions; as well as into all stages of internal and external oversight of the security sector

In West Africa, as in many places, security institutions have long been grounded in male-dominated cultures and conceptions. Despite progress made in some contexts, the overall persistence of sexist and discriminatory structures and practices in the security sector creates considerable challenges for establishing effective and accountable security institutions.

About the toolkit

At the request of the ECOWAS commission, DCAF has developed several publications collectively entitled “The Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa". The main objective is to support the implementation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) regional regulatory framework for SSR/SSG through practical advice and guidance tailored to the West African context and based on regional experiences. It specifically aims to facilitate policy development, implementation, and management of SSR processes at the national level.

This framework has been translated into practical guidance that takes into account the national contexts of West Africa and elucidates, for instance, the issues of parliamentary oversight, good financial governance of institutions, as well as the consideration of gender dimensions in SSR/SSG. One of the main challenges has been to develop tools that can be understood and used by the various stakeholders, including the Executive, the Parliament, the Judiciary, civil security sector oversight institutions, and civil society. This should contribute to the development and strengthening of a West African security strategy to support the regalian imperative of democratic governance, protection, and defence.


Ornella Moderan